Search This Blog

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Tennessee's Peer Review Statute Cannot Be Used to Suborn Perjury!

On Dec. 11, 2018, the Tennessee Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Reynolds v. Gray Medical Investors, LLC, No. E2017-02403-COA-R9-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Dec. 11, 2018).  The syllabus from the slip opinion reads:
We granted the Tenn. R. App. P. 9 application for interlocutory appeal in this case to consider whether a healthcare provider can use Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-11-272, (“the peer review statute”), to claim privilege and exclude evidence that an employee was threatened with dismissal or retaliation if the employee refused to change their story or alter documents in order to cover up possible negligent conduct. We find and hold that the peer review privilege contained within Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-11-272 never was intended to allow a healthcare provider to attempt without fear of adverse consequences to force an employee to commit perjury. We, therefore, reverse the July 31, 2017 order of the Circuit Court for Washington County ... excluding the testimony of defendants’ employee pursuant to the peer review privilege contained in Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-11-272 and remand this case for further proceedings consistent with this Opinion.
Here is a link to the slip opinion: 

NOTE: The defendant herein was attempting to use the peer review statute to suborn perjury; take a minute for that to sink in.  Perjury!  That is why the panel, in construing the peer review statute, wrote: "[I]n no known universe does suborning perjury fit within the General Assembly’s stated purpose of Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-11-272...."  Reynolds, No. E2017-02403-COA-R9-CV, slip op. at 7 (emphasis added).  I am glad the panel did what it did and shut this sort of "argument" down, because what was being attempted was simply beyond the pale.

No comments: