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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

New Opinion: Contractual Indemnification Claim Against a Health Care Provider Not a Health Care Liability Action

The Tennessee Court of Appeals recently released its opinion in Johnson v. Rutherford County, Tenn., No. M2017-00618-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 11, 2018).  The syllabus from the slip opinion states as follows:
The plaintiffs, as co-conservators for their adult son, filed this action against the county, seeking payment of medical expenses incurred by their son following an assault upon him by another inmate while he was incarcerated at the county jail facility. The plaintiffs later amended their complaint to add allegations of civil rights violations, general negligence, and health care liability. The county filed a third-party complaint against the medical provider with whom the county had contracted to provide medical services for the inmates at the jail. The third-party complaint was based upon an indemnity clause contained within the respective parties’ contract. The medical provider filed a motion to dismiss the county’s third-party complaint because the county had not complied with the requirements of the Tennessee Health Care Liability Act (“THCLA”). Following a hearing, the trial court dismissed the county’s third-party complaint by reason of the county’s failure to comply with the requirements of the THCLA. The county timely appealed. Having determined that the trial court erred by treating the county’s third-party complaint as a THCLA claim, we reverse the court’s dismissal of the county’s third-party complaint.
Here is a link to the slip opinion:

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