Plaintiff/Appellant Nationwide appeals the trial court’s grant of Defendant/Appellee’s motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim for which relief can be granted. Defendant’s motion was based on the argument that Plaintiff’s claim was time-barred pursuant to the Tennessee Governmental Tort Liability Act, and that Tennessee Code Annotated section 20-1-119 did not allow Plaintiff to timely add Defendant to the suit. Because we conclude that the trial court incorrectly applied Tennessee’s comparative fault statute, we reverse.
Tuesday, January 01, 2019
Comparative Fault: Another New Opinion on Tennessee Code Annotated section 20-1-119
On Dec. 13, 2018, the Tennessee Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Company v. Memphis Light, Gas and Water, No. W2017-02551-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 13, 2018). The syllabus from the slip opinion states as follows:
Here is a link to the slip opinion:
NOTE: This opinion does a good job of analyzing and explaining Tenn. Code Ann. sec. 20-1-119 (our state's comparative fault joinder statute). I am a little surprised the trial court granted the dismissal as this issue was addressed a few years ago in Queen’s Tree Surgery v. Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, No. M2003-00228-COA-R3-CV, 2003 WL 22768689 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 24, 2003). For what it is worth, I had a similar issue come up a little while back in Scales v. H.G. Hill Realty Co., which is the subject of my Jan. 31, 2018 post: http://theduncanlawfirm.blogspot.com/2018/01/new-tennessee-court-of-appeals-opinion.html.