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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Comparative Fault: Discovery Responses Do Not Trigger Tenn. Code Ann. § 20-1-119

The Tennessee Court of Appeals (Western Section) recently released its opinion in Shaffer v. Memphis Airport Auth., No. W2012-00237-COA-R9-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 18, 2013).  The summary from the slip opinion states as follows:
This interlocutory appeal involves comparative fault and amending to add a defendant.  The plaintiff suffered slip-and-fall injuries at the defendant airport. The day before the statute of limitations ran, the plaintiff filed this lawsuit against the airport, alleging negligence. The airport’s answer asserted comparative fault but did not identify an additional tortfeasor. In later discovery, the airport identified its janitorial service. The plaintiff amended her complaint to add the janitorial service as a defendant, citing T.C.A.§ 20-1-119. The defendant janitorial service filed a motion to dismiss, citing the statute of limitations. The trial court declined to dismiss the claims against the janitorial service, holding that the disclosure of the identity of the janitorial service in discovery triggered the 90-day statutory period under Section 20-1-119 in which the plaintiff is permitted to amend the complaint to add a defendant. We reverse, holding that, by the express terms of Section 20-1-119, the statutory 90-day period is not triggered by a defendant’s response to a discovery request.

Here's a link to the opinion:

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Seven Year Anniversary!

This month marks the seven year anniversary of this blog (first post was in January 2006).  I want to say thank you to all of my readers.  Your patronage, along with your nice comments and e-mails, are greatly appreciate.