Search This Blog

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

New Medical Malpractice Opinion

Today the Tennessee Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Haley v. State of Tennessee, No. E2012-02484-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 25, 2013).  The summary from the opinion states as follows:
This is a medical malpractice case.[] The plaintiff filed a claim with the Division of Claims administration, as the resident physician alleged to have engaged in negligence was purportedly connected to a University of Tennessee training program at Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The State moved the Commissioner to dismiss the plaintiff’s action for failure to comply with the requirements set out in Tennessee Code Annotated section 29-26-121(a). The Commissioner reluctantly agreed with the State’s position. We hold that the plaintiff complied with section 121(a)’s notice requirement by complying with the claim notice requirements of Tennessee Code Annotated section 9-8-402. We further hold that section 121 does not mandate dismissal with prejudice for noncompliance with its terms, and that the plaintiff’s failure to provide all the items denoted in section 121(a) does not warrant dismissal with prejudice under the facts of this case. We vacate the dismissal order and remand for further proceedings.
(Footnote omitted.)

Here's a link to the opinion:

Thursday, September 12, 2013

New Tennessee Supreme Court Opinion on Service of Process: Lack of Prompt Return of Proof of Service Does Not Require Dismissal of a Civil Action

The Tennessee Supreme Court issued its opinion today in Fair v. Cochran, No. E2011-00831-SC-R11-CV (Tenn. Sept. 12, 2013).  The summary from the opinion states as follows:
We granted this appeal to determine whether the return of proof of service of process 412 days after issuance of a summons precludes a plaintiff from relying upon the original commencement of the lawsuit to toll the running of the statute of limitations. We hold that the plain language of Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure 3 and 4.03 does not condition the effectiveness of the original commencement to toll the statute of limitations upon the prompt return of proof of service. We reverse the judgment of the Court of Appeals affirming the trial court’s dismissal of the plaintiff’s lawsuit. We remand this case to the trial court to determine whether service of process occurred within ninety days of issuance of the summons. If so, the plaintiff may rely upon the original commencement of the lawsuit to toll the statute of limitations.
Here is a link to the majority opinion:

Here is a link to Justice Holder's concurrence:

In all candor, the plaintiff's lawyer in this appeal was nice enough to let me write the supplemental brief and argue this case before the Tennessee Supreme Court (which I asked him to let me do).  I wanted to take this opportunity to thank him.  Thanks Mike!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

September 11, 2001

Twelve years ago today we were attacked by cowards who killed our fellow Americans.  Never---never!---forget what happened.  

May God continue to bless America!