published Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

Lisa Barnes plans to appeal verdict in Hennen trial

  • photo
    Lisa Barnes looks to her attorney while in Judge Neil Thomas III's courtroom during the fifth day of a civil trial in which Lisa Barnes (mother of Hannah Barnes) is suing the Hennen Restaurant Group, alleging that her daughter's Aug. 22, 2011, death on train tracks nearly the McDonald Farm can be attributed to her consuming alcohol while working at the restaurant hours before. Both Hannah Barnes and Michael Hennen died when a train struck them.
    Photo by Dan Henry /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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Was the Hennen verdict fair?

The mother of a 19-year-old woman who died when she and a friend were struck by a train near McDonald Farm on Aug. 22, 2011, will appeal a jury's verdict that cleared the restaurant where her daughter worked of any wrongdoing.

Attorneys C. Mark Warren and John Mark Griffin filed a notice of appeal with Hamilton County Circuit Court late Monday on behalf of Lisa Barnes, mother of deceased Hannah Barnes.

The notice informs the court that they intend to appeal the decision. It does not provide any detail as to what the appeal will address.

Warren and Griffin did not immediately return calls and emails seeking comment Monday.

Al Henry, the Hennens' attorney, declined to comment.

Hannah Barnes and Michael Hennen died while lying on train tracks at 5:50 a.m. on Aug. 22, 2011. A three-week trial in January centered on whether Barnes drank alcohol while at her workplace, Hennen's Restaurant, in the hours preceding her death.

Michael Hennen was a manager at the restaurant and is the son of the restaurant owner, Tim Hennen.

Warren and Griffin attempted to show that Hannah Barnes drank alcohol at the restaurant and also at the farm with Michael Hennen and that her underage drinking contributed to her death.

But a jury took only 90 minutes to find no fault on the part of Hennen's.

Barnes' attorneys will have 60 days to file required documents for the appeal. The Hamilton County Circuit Court Clerk's office then has 45 days to prepare the file to send to the Tennessee Court of Appeals for consideration.

Contact staff writer Todd South at tsouth@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6347. Follow him on Twitter @tsouthCTFP.

about Todd South...

Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...

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