Tennessee Appellate Court decision (December 29, 2014).
Following a failed real estate sales transaction, the homeowner sued her real estate agent and several other parties that were involved in the transaction. The trial court granted the defendants’ motions to dismiss the complaint.The homeowner subsequently filed another lawsuit that was basically the same as her first complaint. The second complaint was dismissed by the trial court on the grounds of “res judicata” and the homeowner appealed the decision.
The appellate court affirmed the trial court’s decision that the second action was barred based on the doctrine of “res judicata” which bars a second suit between the same parties or their privies on the same claim with respect to all issues which were, or could have been litigated in the first suit.In clarifying the doctrine, the court stated that the purposes of res judicata are “to promote finality in litigation, prevent inconsistent or contradictory judgments, conserve legal resources, and protect litigants from the cost and vexation of multiple lawsuits.”The court further stated that the doctrine of res judicata is based on the public policy principle that “litigation should be determined with reasonable expedition, and not protracted through inattention and lack of diligence on the part of litigants or their counsel.”
The appellate court also ruled that the homeowner’s appeal was frivolous because it was devoid of merit and had no reasonable chance of succeeding. As such, the defendants were awarded their fees and expenses incurred in responding to the appealand the case was remandedback to the trial court for a determination of the reasonable costs and expenses to be assessed against the homeowner.
See case decision: Graham_v._Crye-Leike_Realty_ (1)