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Saturday, February 28, 2009

New Premises Liability Case

The Middle Section of the Tennessee Court of Appeals just issued its opinion in Freemon v. Logan's Roadhouse, Inc., No. M2007-01796-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 25, 2009).

The opinion does a great job of explaining (1) the proper standard for granting summary judgment after Hannan and Martin; (2) when a duty arises in the context of a premises liability case; and (3) determining if a plaintiff's degree of negligence is, as a matter of law, greater than that of a defendant (which would prevent a plaintiff from recovering under out system of modified comparative fault).

Here's the link to the slip opinion:

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sentinel Event Statistics

This link will take you to a document of the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations that contains sentinel event statistics through last year. There's some pretty interesting stuff there.

Here's the link:

Monday, February 16, 2009

Firm News

It the interests of full disclosure, I wrote the Amicus Curiae Brief for the Tennessee Association for Justice in Thomas v. Oldfield, which is the subject of my Feb. 2, 2009 post.

Phil Campbell of Memphis, Tennessee helped a great deal with editing the brief. Phil's sharp intellect and keen eye were a blessing. Thanks Phil!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Totally Unrelated to the Law...

This post has NOTHING to do with the law. It does, however, have something to do with the enjoyment of life thought art. Clifford Bailey is one of my favorite artists. Here's a link to his Web site: Check it out. I think you'll like his work.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Firm News

We won yesterday! We got a favorable jury verdict at trial for our clients in the Bedford County Circuit Court in Shelbyville, Tennessee. The jury did a great job of listening to the issues and coming up with a verdict.

Yesterday also reaffirmed my faith in the civil justice system and juries. The jury heard all the evidence, weighed it, and rendered a verdict after carefully deliberating over the issues. The system works.
Additionally, defense counsel and I proved that you can disagree with each other and still get along, which is how it should be.

Lastly, I want to congratulate everyone who worked on this case. It was truly a team effort. Thanks to all.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Another Locality Rule Opinion

The Middle Section of the Tennessee Court of Appeals just issued another medical malpractice opinion concerning the locality rule. The case is Grisham v. McLaughlin, No. M2008-00393-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 4, 2008). The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's grant of summary judgment due to the plaintiffs failure to comply with the locality rule, which is codified at Tennessee Code Annotated section 29-26-115(a).

The parties' names may ring a bell to some of you. They should. This is the second time this case has been to the Court of Appeals over a summary judgment issue. The first time the trial court was reversed for not giving the plaintiff enough time to respond to the defendants' motion for summary judgment.

This new opinion stresses the importance of complying with the locality rule. which may be done by showing the the proffered expert practices in the same community or a similar community as the defendant. A community may be proven to be similar by showing the size of the community, the existence or non-existence of teaching hospitals, etc. Grisham, No. M2008-00393-COA-R3-CV, slip op. at 4.

Here's the link to the opinion:

Monday, February 02, 2009

The Discovery of a Defendant's Liability Insurance Information in Tennessee State Court

The Tennessee Supreme Court issued its much-awaited opinion today in Thomas v. Oldfield, M2006-02767-SC-R11-CF (Tenn. Feb. 2, 2009). With a few exceptions, the Court held that a defendant's liability insurance information is not discoverable.

Here's the link to the opinion:

New Med Mal Case

The Middle Section of the Tennessee Court of Appeals recently issued a new med mal opinion. The case is Cox v. M.A. Primary and Urgent Care Clinic, No. M2007-01840-COA-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 30, 2009).

The case is noteworthy because it offers a post-Hannan analysis of summary judgments in a medical malpractice context. (For the uninitiated, Hannan v. Alltel Publ'g Co., which is discussed in my Nov. 8, 2008 post, is the case that recently reaffirmed Tennessee's standard for granting summary judgments).

The Cox case also held that: "[t]he standard of care applicable to a physician assistant is that of the supervising physician in the community in which the supervising physician practices." Cox, M2007-01840-COA-CV, slip. op. at 6.

Here's the link to the case: