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October 30, 2014

Tennessee Public Protection Act and the GTLA

CaseDavid G. Young, Individually and as City Administrator for the City of Lafollette v. City of Lafollette et al.

Issue:  Does the GTLA’s non-jury provision apply to claims brought pursuant to the Tennessee Public Protection Act?

Facts:  Employee brought TPPA claim against City and requested a jury trial. City moved to strike the jury demand pursuant to the GTLA. The trial court denied the motion to strike the jury demand, but granted permission to seek interlocutory appeal.

Appellate Decision:  The intermediate court reversed, holding that the GTLA’s non-jury provision controlled. The court relied on its prior holding in Larry Sneed v. The City of Red Bank, which is currently pending review by the Tennessee Supreme Court.

Review Granted:  October 22, 2014.

Prediction:  Ben thinks the Supreme Court will affirm and find that the GTLA’s non-jury provision controls for similar reasons as in Sneed. Ben expects decisions in both cases clarifying that GTLA rules apply by default to suits against the government unless otherwise specified.