Tennessee Supreme Court: Definition of Bodily Injury

05 September 2012 Categories: All Blogs, Car Accident, Personal Injury

On May 8th, 2012 the Tennessee Supreme Court decided a case involving the definition of “bodily injury” as is relates to insurance policies (click for full opinion: JERRY GARRISON ET AL. v. RITA BICKFORD ET AL.) In the case, the insurance company involved refused to pay any amount for emotional damages claimed by the plaintiff because the policy stated it would only pay for bodily injuries. The Supreme Court agreed with the insurance company and held: “[W]e conclude that in the context of purely emotional injuries, the phrase “bodily injury,” as defined in the policy before us, is unambiguous. Its ordinary meaning connotes a physical injury. Thus, we hold that, as applied to this case, “bodily injury” does not include damages for emotional harm alone. We further conclude that the definition of “bodily injury” in the policy does not conflict with the uninsured motorist statute, section 56-7-1201(a).”


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