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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Medical Malpractice: Plaintiff's Case Dimissed for Failure to Follow Recent Changes to Medical Malpractice Act

The Tennessee Court of Appeals issued its opinion today in Myers v. AMISUB (SFH), Inc. , No. W2010-00837-COA-R3-CV (Feb. 24, 2011). Here's the summary from the opinion:
The trial court denied Defendants’ motion to dismiss in a medical malpractice action initially filed prior to the effective date of the notice and certificate of good faith provisions subsequently codified at Tennessee Code Annotated sections 29-26-121 and 29-26-122, and nonsuited and re-commenced after the effective date of the provisions despite Plaintiff’s failure to fulfill the statutory requisites. We granted permission to appeal pursuant to Rule 9 of the Rules of Appellate Procedure. We reverse and remand for dismissal.
Here's a link to the opinion:

This opinion is incorrect in my humble opinion because it fails to consider in its analysis that the plaintiff's tort claim vested in the law that existed when the claim accrued as a matter of constitutional law. See Estate of Bell v. Shelby Cnty. Health Care Corp., 318 S.W.3d 823, 830 (Tenn. 2010) (recognizing that as to tort cases the law in effect at the time of the accrual of the action is the applicable law per Article One, Section 20 of the Tennessee Constitution). The law that existed when Plaintiff's claim accrued did not require pre-suit notices to be mailed out to potential defendants or certificates of good faith to be filed. However, it doesn't look like the litigants brought this issue up before the trial court or the appellate court, which probably affected the outcome.

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