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Wednesday, March 11, 2020

New Health Care Liability Action Case Opinion: Summary Judgment for Some Defendants Upheld on Appeal Based upon the Three-year Statute of Repose; Fraudulent Concealment Exception Does Not Apply

The Tennessee Court of Appeals just issued its opinion in Tucker v. Iveson, No. M2018-01501-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 11, 2020).  The syllabus from the slip opinion reads:
A plaintiff who developed tendonitis after taking medication prescribed by a nurse practitioner filed a malpractice action against the nurse practitioner and the pharmacy that filled the prescription.  Two years later, the plaintiff amended her complaint to add the nurse practitioner’s employer and supervising physician as defendants.  The new defendants moved to dismiss, arguing that the claims against them were barred by the applicable statutes of limitations and repose and that the plaintiff failed to provide them with pre-suit noticeof a potential medical malpractice claim.  The plaintiff responded that fraudulent concealment tolled the statutes and constituted extraordinary cause to waive pre-suit notice.  The trial court agreed and denied the motions.  The defendants then moved for summary judgment on other grounds, which the court granted.  It is undisputed that the plaintiff’s claims against these defendants were filed beyond the time allowed by the statute of repose for medical malpractice actions.  Because we conclude that the plaintiff cannot establish an essential element of the fraudulent concealment exception, the defendants are entitled to judgment as a matter of law based on the statute of repose. So we affirm the dismissal of the claims against these defendants on summary judgment but on different grounds.
Here is a link to the slip opinion:

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