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Monday, September 28, 2015

New Health Care Liability Action Opinion: Trial Court's Denial of Defendants' Motions to Dimiss Due to Plaintiffs' Alleged Failure to Comply with Presuit Notice Requirements, Etc., Upheld on Appeal

The Tennessee Court of Appeals recently released its opinion in Hunt v. Nair, No. E2014-01261-COA-R9-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 25, 2015).  The summary from the opinion states as follows:
This interlocutory appeal involves a health care liability action. The plaintiffs, Margie Hunt and husband, Rickey Hunt, claim that Mrs. Hunt suffered injuries proximately caused by the conduct of the defendants with respect to two surgeries. Prior to filing their complaint, the plaintiffs gave timely written notice of their claim to potential defendants. See Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-26-121(c) (Supp. 2013). Each of the three defendants moved to dismiss the complaint. Their separate motions were predicated on their assertion that the plaintiffs‟ pre-suit notice failed to comply with the requirements of Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-26-121, part of the Tennessee‟s Health Care Liability Act. Specifically, the defendants argue that the plaintiffs failed to provide a HIPAA-compliant medical authorization with their pre-suit notice. They also contend that the plaintiffs failed to attach to the complaint the medical authorization and also the pre-suit notice served upon the defendants. The defendant Dr. Nitin J. Rangnekar also relies upon the ground of insufficiency of service of process. The trial court denied each defendant‟s motion. On the defendants‟ further motions, the court granted them permission to pursue an interlocutory appeal pursuant to the provisions of Tenn. R. App. P. 9. We likewise granted the defendants permission to file a Rule 9 appeal. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.
(Footnotes omitted.) 

Here is a link to the opinion:

NOTE: This is a must-read opinion for any lawyer who handles health care liability actions in Tennessee given the fact that it discusses substantial compliance of presuit notice procedures, filing requirements, and the waiver of affirmative defenses for failing to comply with Rule 8.03, Tenn. R. Civ. P.

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