Thomas v. General Elec. Co.

CourtSupreme Court of Tennessee
Citation494 S.W.2d 493
PartiesMargery Diane THOMAS, Appellant, v. GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY et al., Appellees.
Decision Date07 May 1973

Page 493

494 S.W.2d 493
Margery Diane THOMAS, Appellant,
Supreme Court of Tennessee.
May 7, 1973.

Wilkes, Neely & McCullough, William I. McLain, Memphis, for appellant.

Albert T. McRae, Edward M. Kaplan, Memphis, for appellees.


CHATTIN, Justice.

Appellant brought this suit against the appellees, General Electric Company and Pinkerton, Inc. Appellees filed a motion to dismiss for the failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. The trial court sustained the motion. From this ruling an appeal was perfected to this Court.

The complaint, in pertinent part, provides:

2. 'That on August 30, 1971, at approximately 11:14 P.M. plaintiff had finished her night's work and duties as an employee of the defendant, General Electric Company, at its lamp plant at 1356 Riverside Drive in Memphis, Tennessee; that she had punched the time clock, had left the building in which said lamp plant is housed where she performed her work, and had reached the parking lot maintained by said defendant for the use and convenience of its employees on an unassigned and optional basis, which lot is located on the west side of Riverside Drive south of the extension of West Olive Street in Memphis, Tennessee. As the plaintiff approached and entered her automobile on said lot she was accosted by a young male white who drew a knife and forced her to drive her car out the gate to said lot and to various parts of the City of Memphis during the course of which she was horribly threatened, ravished and abused until early on the morning of August 31, 1971, at which time she was released by said assailant who drove plaintiff's car back to said parking lot where his own vehicle was parked.

4. 'Plaintiff alleges that the defendant, General Electric Company, through its agents, servants and employees, was guilty of gross negligence in that it knew, or in the exercise of reasonable and ordinary care, should have known that its said lamp plant and parking lot were located in a dangerous high-crimerisk area of the City of Memphis; that dangerous characters frequented the lot; that these conditions involved an unreasonable risk of harm to the plaintiff and to other female employees of said defendant in going to their cars on said lot late at night and that said conditions created a likelihood that the plaintiff, or some other female employee of said defendant, would suffer just such an injury as was inflicted upon the plaintiff; that said defendant recognized the peculiar hazard involved for its female employees and fenced the lot in question, constructed an elevated guardhouse, required that all cars parking on said lot bear a proper General Electric...

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4 cases
  • Ozment v. Lance, 81-397
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • June 30, 1982
    ...v. Checker Taxi Co. (1st Dist. 1981), 95 Ill.App.3d 150, 50 Ill.Dec. 460, 419 N.E.2d 568; Thomas v. General Electric Co. (1973) Tenn., 494 S.W.2d 493.) The Restatement (Second) of Torts, § 302B, comment e B, at 90, lists the employer-employee relation as such a special relation as does comm......
  • Robinson v. United States, 76-91-NA-CV.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court of Middle District of Tennessee
    • August 3, 1976
    ...assaults on employees has been rendered somewhat unclear by the Tennessee Supreme Court's decision in Thomas v. General Electric Co., 494 S.W.2d 493 (Tenn. 1973), but it seems fair to say that at least where an employer has notice of an unusual risk of assault by third persons which is unkn......
  • Lord v. Saratoga Capital, Inc., 94-2129/BraMl.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. Western District of Tennessee
    • November 14, 1995
    ...for the proposition that assumption of duty exists in Tennessee for cases such as the one at bar. First, Thomas v. General Elec. Co., 494 S.W.2d 493 (Tenn.1973), held that an employer did not assume the duty of protecting its employees from the criminal attacks of third parties by fencing i......
  • Cornpropst v. Sloan
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Tennessee
    • September 29, 1975
    ...of violence and criminal activity had theretofore occurred.' The trial judge was of the opinion that Thomas v. General Electric Company, 494 S.W.2d 493 (Tenn.1973), controlled this case and required its dismissal. While this Court is in disagreement as to the correct rule to be applied and ......

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