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Saturday, July 07, 2018

New Health Care Liability Action ("HCLA") Opinion: Despite Being Presented as a Declaratory Judgment Action, Trial Court Found the Action to Be a HCLA, Dismissed It as Being Time-Barred, and Dismissal Was Upheld on Appeal

The Tennessee Court of Appeals has issued its opinion in Estate of Myers v. Questall, No. M2017-01954-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Jul. 6, 2018).  The summary from the opinion reads as follows:
Appellants appeal the trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Appellee, medical doctor. The trial court found that Appellant’s petition for declaratory judgment sounded in health care liability and was barred by the statute of limitations. Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-26-116(a)(1). Discerning no error, we affirm and remand.
Here is a link to the slip opinion:

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

NOTE: Health care liability actions, formerly known as medical malpractice cases, are defined by statute in Tenn. Code Ann. sec. 29-26-101(a)(1).  And that definition is very broad, which this opinion points out.   While lawyers are required to be creative at times to get a case in front of a jury (count me among the "creative" types), this case demonstrates that health care liability actions are set up in a way to prohibit that type of creativity, which prevents an injured person from obtaining a remedy at law a lot of times.  

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