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VOL. 133 | NO. 158 | Friday, August 10, 2018

Daily Digest

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Commission Passes Ordinance To Gain More Legal Control

Shelby County commissioners approved an ordinance Wednesday, Aug. 8, that would bar the county attorney from representing county government in civil litigation in which the county mayor or another county government entity is suing the commission.

Commission chairwoman Heidi Shafer introduced the ordinance last month. Shafer argued the action was necessary and “a cure for something that has been problem.”

A lawsuit filed last November by Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell against the County Commission regarding actions the county would take to combat the opioid epidemic would fall under this ordinance, Shafer said.

The ordinance also requires commission approval for the county attorney to hire outside or special counsel, unless the county attorney certifies to the commission chairman that the matter those attorneys are hired for will not go over $50,000 in hourly rates or contingent fees.

The ordinance was approved 8-1 on third and final reading during a special called commission meeting Wednesday. The third reading of the ordinance was originally scheduled for the last commission meeting Aug. 27, which is the last meeting of the current county commission and mayor. On Sept. 1, mayor-elect Lee Harris and eight new commissioners on the 13-member body will take office.

Commissioner Walter Bailey – who voted against the ordinance in a general government committee meeting earlier Wednesday morning – argued the commission should not be involved in the litigation process; that should solely be up to the executive branch.

He added he felt the ordinance developed as a result of animosity between some commissioners and Luttrell regarding the opioid litigation against drug manufacturers.

“I don’t think we have any business proceeding in this fashion,” Bailey said.

Shafer objected to the idea of the ordinance being “vengeful” or a result of animosity. She said the ordinance is necessary to allow the legislative branch to have checks and balances on the executive branch to prevent it from “frustrating” the commission on matters such as control over the which branch of government controls the opioid lawsuit.

“I’ve done this on the advice of counsel – advice of extremely competent counsel,” Shafer said.

Over the past two years, the mayor and many on the commission have been at odds over the commission’s decision to hire its own legal counsel – similar to the Memphis City Council.

Luttrell has taken the commission to court over the matter, arguing the county charter is different than the city charter.

The county attorney is appointed by the mayor and then confirmed by the commission.

Luttrell has said the county attorney represents all of county government and not just the administration.

– Special to The Daily News

Rhodes College Hires Head Men’s Basketball Coach

Rhodes College has a new men’s basketball head coach, Tyler Papadinis, effective Aug. 15.

The hiring was announced by Portia Hoeg, Rhodes’ executive director of athletics, on Wednesday, Aug. 8.

Papadinis will replace Mike DeGeorge, who resigned in May to take another position. Papadinis is the college’s seventh men’s basketball coach since World War II.

He spent the past three seasons at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he helped guide the Engineers to a 66-20 record. Papadinis was the associate head coach for the team the last two years, which included two New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) championships and two NCAA Division III Tournament berths. The team went 25-6 during the 2017-18 campaign, advancing to the Elite 8.

At MIT, Papadinis recruited and coached two NEWMAC Rookies of the Year, two Defensive Players of the Year, and seven All-Conference student-athletes. Additionally, the MIT Engineers compiled 19 Academic All-Conference honorees, six earned CoSIDA Academic All-District honors, and one was named CoSIDA Academic All-American.

Before his time at MIT, Papadinis spent seven seasons at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He was a basketball operations intern for the NBA’s New York Knicks before accepting a position at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He worked directly with players, coaches, and staff and even spent time as a special education teacher in the Boston Public School System.

Papadinis graduated from Ithaca College in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in sports management. In 2012, he received an MBA from UMass Boston.

– Special to the Daily News

University-Area Apartments Sold to Japanese Investor

A Los Angeles-based company that owns University of Memphis-area apartments has sold its property to a Tokyo-based buyer, according to the Shelby County Register of Deeds.

Win Win Properties LLC sold the apartments at 3380 Spottswood Ave. to Masayuki Tsukada for $2.1 million on Aug. 7.

The 19-unit apartment complex was built in 1973 and last appraised for $712,000 by the Shelby County Property Assessor.

– Special to the Daily News

California Company Buys Cordova Shopping Center

A California-based company has purchased a Cordova shopping center and its adjoining 2.5-acre lot.

Pleasanton, California-based Logical Group Inc. bought the shopping center at 1658 Appling Road from Appling Center Partners for $1.8 million on Aug. 6, according to the Shelby County Register of Deeds.

The shopping center, which was built in 2002, was last appraised for $1.8 million by the Shelby County Assessor.

– Special to the Daily News

Cordova Hotel Sold for $3.5 Million

The Baymont Inn and Suites, located at 2427 N. Germantown Road, sold for $3.5 million on Monday, Aug. 6, according to the Shelby County Register of Deeds.

Link-Paras LLC sold the hotel to AMBE Hospitality Inc.

In conjunction with the purchase, AMBE took out a $2.9 million loan with First Capital Bank.

The Shelby County Assessor last appraised the hotel , which was built in 2000, for about $3 million. The hotel is located near Costco Wholesale and IKEA just off Interstate 40.

– Special to the Daily News

Court Orders New Hearing For Damages in Nursing Home Case

The Tennessee Court of Appeals has vacated a $28 million judgment against the owners of a Memphis nursing home where a patient died after poor care, and a new hearing will determine the amount of punitive damages in the case.

In 2016, a Shelby County Circuit Court jury awarded $30 million in total damages against Memphis-based Allenbrooke Nursing and Rehabilitation Center LLC, its two owners, New York-based DTD HC LLC and D&N LLC, and Aurora Cares LLC, a company that provided administrative services to the nursing home.

The lawsuit was filed in 2010 by the family of Martha Jane Pierce, an 82-year-old woman who was in the Allenbrooke nursing home in 2008 and 2009.

The lawsuit states that Pierce, living in a shared room with her husband, developed pressure sores on her right foot. The sores became infected, leading to amputation and her leg in August, 2009. She died two months later on Oct. 11, 2009.

After a five-week trial in 2016, the jury found Allenbrooke and its owners liable for negligence, medical malpractice and violations of the Tennessee Adult Protection Act by a nursing home. The jury awarded the family $1.9 million in compensatory damages for negligence and $129,000 for violations of the protection act. The jury also awarded $28 million in punitive damages for a total of $30 million.

Allenbrooke, represented by attorneys with Baker Donelson, appealed the verdict.

On Monday, Aug. 6, the state Court of Appeals vacated the jury’s verdict for punitive damages in the case.

“We reverse the jury’s decision finding material evidence to subject the nursing home’s parent companies and their members directly or vicariously liable in the case,” the court wrote in the appeal.

The court added, “Because the amount of punitive damages awarded by the jury appears to be largely predicated on the liability of the non-nursing home defendants, we vacate the award and remand for a new hearing solely as to the amount of punitive damages to be awarded.”

– Special to the Daily News

PROPERTY SALES 93 424 6,970
MORTGAGES 42 281 4,410
BUILDING PERMITS 196 704 16,619
BANKRUPTCIES 38 174 3,570