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Friday, December 21, 2018

Dismissal of Plaintiffs' Lawsuit Upheld on Appeal Due to Their Failure to Properly Substitute a Representative of Deceased Tortfeasor Within the Time Prescribed by Applicable Law

The Tennessee Court of Appeals issued its opinion today in Owens v. Muenzel, No. E2018-00199-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 21, 20180.  The syllabus from the slip opinion reads as follows:
This appeal arises from an action for personal injuries incurred in a vehicle collision. The alleged tortfeasor died subsequent to the injury-causing accident. The plaintiffs, unaware of the death of the decedent, commenced this action and named him as a defendant. The plaintiffs also sued their uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance carrier. Upon learning of the death of the decedent, the plaintiffs moved for the trial court to appoint an administrator ad litem. The trial court eventually dismissed the matter in its entirety with prejudice upon finding, inter alia, that it did not possess subject matter jurisdiction to appoint an administrator ad litem and that the action was barred by the statute of limitations. We affirm.
Here is a link to the slip opinion:

NOTE: This opinion does a great job of outlining what must be done by a plaintiff to "revive" (although that term is not technically used now under current law, see generally Tenn. R. Civ. P. 25.01, a claim against a deceased tortfeaso so that claims asserted in a civil action do not become time-barred.  

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