Charles Thomason Car Accident

Title: Douglas W. THOMASON, Administrator of the Estate of Douglas W. Thomason…

Court: Court of Appeals of Tennessee. Middle Section, at Nashville

Case Number: 

Date: Feb 2, 1981


  • Douglas W. Thomason, Jr., was killed in a car accident on Iron City Road, a highway maintained by Wayne County.
  • The accident occurred due to Thomason losing control of the car and hitting a guard rail.
  • The guard rail had been repaired with an angle iron, and the car hit this section head-on, resulting in Thomason’s death.
  • Thomason had been drinking before the accident.


  • Whether Wayne County was liable for negligence, nuisance, or strict liability in the accident involving Thomason’s death.
  • Whether Thomason’s contributory negligence bars the action against Wayne County.


  • The Trial Court found Wayne County guilty of ordinary negligence but dismissed the action due to Thomason’s contributory negligence.
  • The Appeals Court affirmed the Trial Court’s decision, stating that Wayne County’s actions did not amount to gross negligence or create a nuisance.
  • The Appeals Court also ruled that the case did not fall under strict liability, as Wayne County was not engaged in inherently dangerous activities.
  • Thomason’s contributory negligence was found to be the direct and proximate cause of his death.
  • The decision of the Trial Court was affirmed, and the costs of the appeal were taxed to the appellant.

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