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Thursday, October 27, 2016

New Health Care Liability Action Opinion: Common-knowledge Exception Applies to the Breach of Duty But Not to Causation; Trial Court's Dimissal with Prejudice Upheld on Appeal

The Tennessee Court of Appeals recently released its opinion in Redick v. Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital, No. M2016-00428-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 26, 2016).  The syllabus from the slip opinion states as follows:  
Vicki J. Redick (“Plaintiff”) appeals the dismissal with prejudice of her health care liability action against Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital (“the Hospital”) and Jane Doe, an employee of the Hospital. We find and hold that Plaintiff, despite application of the common knowledge exception when appropriate, would be unable to prove her claim without expert proof, and therefore, Plaintiff was required to file a certificate of good faith in compliance with Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-26-122. As Plaintiff failed to file the required certificate of good faith, we find no error in the judgment of the Circuit Court for Davidson County (“the Trial Court”) dismissing Plaintiff‟s case with prejudice for failure to comply with Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-26-122.

NOTE: In this opinion, the court held that while the common-knowledge exception applied to the breach of duty, Redick v. Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital, No. M2016-00428-COA-R3-CV, slip op. at  8 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 26, 2016), it did not apply to causation, inter alia, because what injuries the plaintiff suffered were not within the common knowledge of laypersons (unlike when a wrong body part is operated on or a foreign object is unintentionally left in a patient's body after surgery), id. 

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