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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

New Tennessee Court of Appeals' Opinion on Tennessee Code Annotated section 20-1-119

The Tennessee Court of Appeals just issued its opinion in Scales v. H.G. Hill Realty Co., LLC, No. M2017-00906-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 30, 2018).  The syllabus from the slip opinion is as follows:
A customer slipped and fell at a grocery store and sued four different entities that owned and/or operated the store. When two of the defendants filed a motion to compel the plaintiff to respond to discovery responses, the plaintiff voluntarily dismissed these defendants from the action. Then, in response to an answer to an amended complaint in which another defendant asserted the comparative fault of the dismissed defendants, the plaintiff filed a second amended complaint adding the dismissed defendants back in as named defendants pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. § 20-1-119. The newly added defendants filed a motion to dismiss, which the trial court granted. The plaintiff appealed, and we reverse the trial court’s judgment. We hold that the statute permitted the plaintiff to add the formerly dismissed defendants back into the lawsuit.
Here is a link to the slip opinion:

http://www.tncourts.gov/sites/default/files/scales.mary_.opn_.pdf

NOTE: This is my case.  I represent the plaintiff.  In my totally biased opinion, I think that the Court of Appeals got this one right.  Also, this is a must-read opinion as to section 20-1-119 and how it is to be construed and applied.


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