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Friday, February 06, 2009

Another Locality Rule Opinion

The Middle Section of the Tennessee Court of Appeals just issued another medical malpractice opinion concerning the locality rule. The case is Grisham v. McLaughlin, No. M2008-00393-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 4, 2008). The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's grant of summary judgment due to the plaintiffs failure to comply with the locality rule, which is codified at Tennessee Code Annotated section 29-26-115(a).

The parties' names may ring a bell to some of you. They should. This is the second time this case has been to the Court of Appeals over a summary judgment issue. The first time the trial court was reversed for not giving the plaintiff enough time to respond to the defendants' motion for summary judgment.

This new opinion stresses the importance of complying with the locality rule. which may be done by showing the the proffered expert practices in the same community or a similar community as the defendant. A community may be proven to be similar by showing the size of the community, the existence or non-existence of teaching hospitals, etc. Grisham, No. M2008-00393-COA-R3-CV, slip op. at 4.

Here's the link to the opinion:

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