Kristine Blankenship (“Plaintiff”) sued Anesthesiology Consultants Exchange, P.C. (“Defendant”) alleging, in part, that as a result of Defendant’s failure to properly treat a surgical patient Plaintiff suffered injuries including “a severe and disabling injury to her back.” Defendant filed a motion for summary judgment. After a hearing, the Trial Court granted Defendant summary judgment after finding that Plaintiff had failed to comply with Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-26-121 by filing her complaint less than 60 days after sending the notice letter. Plaintiff appeals to this Court raising issues regarding whether Defendant waived the defense of failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted based upon Plaintiff’s failure to comply with Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-26-121 and whether Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-26-121 conflicts with Rule 18.01 of the Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure as applied to this case. We hold, as did the Trial Court, that Defendant did not waive the defense of failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted based upon Plaintiff’s failure to comply with Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-26-121, and that Plaintiff waived her second issue by not raising it in the Trial Court. We affirm.
Needless to say, this is an unusual case that is muddled by the fact that it seems to sound in both medical negligence and ordinary negligence. For the reader of this post, please be mindful of the timing of recent tort reform legislation as it applies to this case.