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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

New Health Care Liability Action Opinion: Trial Court's Dismissal of Plaintiff's Claim as Untimely per the GTLA Upheld on Appeal

The Tennessee Court of Appeals released its opinion yesterday in Miller v. Cookeville Reg'l Med. Ctr., No. M2014-01917-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 29, 2015).  The summary from the opinion states as follows:
Plaintiff filed this medical malpractice action on September 8, 2011, pursuant to the Tennessee Medical Malpractice Act (“the TMMA”) against Cookeville Regional Medical Center, which is a governmental entity subject to the Governmental Tort Liability Act (“the GTLA”). The Medical Center filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, relying upon the Supreme Court’s decision in Cunningham v. Williamson Cnty. Hosp. Dist., 405 S.W.3d 41 (Tenn. 2013), to support its assertion that Plaintiff’s suit was untimely filed because it was not filed within the one-year statute of limitations set forth in the GTLA, Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-20-305(b) (2012). Plaintiff responded contending that the Cunningham decision should be applied prospectively only, so as to preserve Plaintiff’s claim as timely. The trial court found the decision in Cunningham controlling and dismissed the complaint as untimely filed. We affirm.
(Footnote omitted.)

NOTE: The one-year statute of limitations is now extended by proper presuit notice sent pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. sec. 29-26-121 due to a statutory amendment, which is mentioned in this opinion.  That amendment did not apply to this case because the claim accrued before the amendment's effective date.

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