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Friday, May 12, 2017

New Health Care Liability Action Opinion: The Common-knowledge Exception Dispenses with the Need to File a Certificate of Good Faith

The Tennessee Court of Appeals just issued its opinion in Zink v. Rural/Metro of Tenn., L.P., No. E2016-01581-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. May 2, 2017).  The syllabus from the slip opinion states as follows:
In this action regarding injury allegedly caused by an emergency medical technician in the course of rendering medical aid, the trial court determined that the plaintiff’s claims were subject to the Tennessee Health Care Liability Act (“THCLA”) and dismissed the claims with prejudice based on the plaintiff’s failure to file a certificate of good faith pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated § 29-26-122. The plaintiff has appealed, conceding that his claims sounded in health care liability but asserting that they should not have been dismissed with prejudice because a certificate of good faith was not required. Following our review of the complaint, we conclude that the plaintiff’s claims were subject to the common knowledge exception such that a certificate of good faith was not required pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated § 29-26-122. We therefore reverse the trial court’s dismissal with prejudice and remand this matter to the trial court for entry of an order dismissing the plaintiff’s claims without prejudice based upon his failure to provide pre-suit notice.
Here is a link to the slip opinion:

http://www.tncourts.gov/sites/default/files/zink_opinion.pdf

NOTE: This opinion makes clear that certificates of good faith are only required to be filed with a complaint in a health care liability action when the common-knowledge exception does not apply, which an be tricky to determine.


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