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Tuesday, March 24, 2020

New Health Care Liability Action Opinion: Trial Court's Dismissal Due to Plaintiff's Failure to Treat the Case as a Health Care Liability Action Upheld on Appeal as Modified to Be Without Prejudice

The Tennessee Court of Appeals released its opinion today in Johnson v. Knoxville HMA Cardiology PPM, LLC, No. E2019-00818-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 24, 2019).  The syllabus reads:
In this action involving injuries allegedly caused by the defendant medical providers’ failure to provide a safe examination table, the trial court determined that the plaintiff’s negligence claim was actually a health care liability claim and granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss the complaint with prejudice for failure to provide written pre-suit notice to the defendants within the one-year statute of limitations pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated § 29-26-121(a) (Supp. 2019) of the Tennessee Health Care Liability Act (“THCLA”). The plaintiff has appealed, conceding that he failed to provide written pre- suit notice but asserting that his claim should not have been dismissed because it was not a health care liability claim. Having determined that the trial court properly found that the plaintiff’s claim was a health care liability action, we affirm the dismissal of this matter. However, having also determined that the proper sanction for the plaintiff’s failure to provide pre-suit notice under the THCLA was dismissal without prejudice, we modify the trial court’s dismissal of the claim to be without prejudice.
Here is a link to the slip opinion:

NOTE: This case serves as an example of how difficult health care liability actions (formerly known as medical malpractice cases) have become.  Things have gotten so bad lately that people cannot get the justice they deserve, which is bad for the our society.  Our legislators care more about business than people, to a fault. 

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