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Thursday, December 01, 2011

Medical Malpractice: Statutorily Required Presuit Notice Provides 120-day Extension of One-year Statute of Limitations Against Governmental Entity

The Tennessee Court of Appeals released its opinion yesterday in Cunningham ex rel. Cunningham v. Williamson Cnty. Hosp. Dist., No. M2011-00554-COA-R9-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 30, 2011). The summary of the opinion reads as follows:

Defendants, Williamson Medical Center and five of its employees, appeal from the denial of their motion to dismiss this medical malpractice action. They contend the action is time barred because it was filed more than one year after the cause of action accrued, in violation of the one year statute of limitations applicable to Tennessee Governmental Tort Liability Act actions, codified at Tennessee Code Annotated § 29-20-305(b). The trial court, however, found that the action was timely filed because it was commenced within the 120-day extension afforded to the plaintiffs pursuant to an amendment to the Tennessee Medical Malpractice Act, codified at Tennessee Code Annotated § 29-26-121(c) (2009). We have determined that the amendment codified at Tennessee Code Annotated § 29-26-121(a)-(c) applies, notwithstanding the one-year statute of limitations provision under the Governmental Tort Liability Act, that the plaintiffs’ compliance with the pre-suit notification provision in Tennessee Code Annotate § 29-26-121(a) extended the statute of limitations by 120 days, and that this action was timely filed within the 120-day extension. Therefore,were affirm.

Here's a link to the opinion:

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