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Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Monday, July 28, 2014
The Court of Appeals issued its opinion today in Doyle v. Town of Oakland, No. W2013-02078-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Jul. 28, 2014). The summary from the opinion states as follows:
This is an appeal from a dismissal for improper service of process. The plaintiff filed a complaint against the defendant municipality. The summons and complaint were served on the municipality’s finance director. In its answer, the municipality asserted improper service of process for failure to serve either the municipality’s chief executive or its city attorney. Later, the municipality filed a motion for summary judgment. The motion asserted that, because service of process was insufficient under Tenn. R. Civ. P. 4.04, the complaint was time-barred under the applicable statute of limitations. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the municipality. The plaintiff appeals. Discerning no error, we affirm.Here is a link to the opinion:
Sunday, July 27, 2014
Thursday, July 24, 2014
New Medical Malpractice Case: Expert's Failure to Disclose Financial Information Leads to Disqualification
The Court of Appeals just issued its opinion in Lasseter v. Estate of Fernando Herrera, M.D., No. W2013-02105-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Jul. 24, 2014). The summary from the opinion states as follows:
This appeal involves a defendant’s attempts to discover certain financial information from the plaintiff’s medical expert in order to facilitate an inquiry into potential bias. The trial court entered several orders requiring the expert witness to provide the requested financial information, which related to his income and compensation, but the expert witness repeatedly failed to comply with the trial court’s orders. The trial court also ruled that the defendant would be permitted to question the expert witness about certain financial information during cross-examination at trial, and the expert witness communicated to the trial judge that he would refuse to answer any such questions. The trial court eventually excluded the medical expert as a witness and allowed the plaintiff time to find a replacement expert. When the plaintiff failed to identify another expert witness within the time allowed, the trial court dismissed the complaint. The plaintiff appeals. We affirm.
Here's a link to the opinion:
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
I thought this story might be of interest to you. See link below.
Saturday, July 19, 2014
The Tennessee Court of Appeals just released its opinion in Hall v. Crenshaw, No. W2013-00662-COA-R9-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Jul. 18, 2014). The summary from the opinion states as follows:
This interlocutory appeal involves ex parte communications between defense counsel for a defendant medical entity and non-party physicians who treated the plaintiff’s decedent and are employed by the defendant medical entity. The plaintiff filed this healthcare liability action against the defendant medical entity arising out of treatment of the plaintiff’s decedent. The trial court held that the attorneys for the defendant medical entity are barred under Alsip v. Johnson City Medical Center, 197 S.W.3d 722 (Tenn. 2006), from conferring ex parte with treating physicians employed by the defendant medical entity who are not named as defendants in the lawsuit. The defendant medical entity was granted permission for this interlocutory appeal. We hold that the defendant medical entity has an independent right to communicate privately with its employees, and this right is not abrogated by the filing of the plaintiff’s healthcare liability lawsuit. Therefore, Alsip does not bar the medical entity’s attorneys from communicating ex parte with physicians employed by the medical entity about the physician employee’s medical treatment of the plaintiff’s decedent. Accordingly, we reverse.
(Bolding and italics in original.)
Here is a link to the opinion:http://www.tncourts.gov/sites/default/files/hallcopn_0.pdf
Friday, July 18, 2014
I found this Web site this morning and thought I'd share. See link below.
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
New Tennessee Supreme Court Opinion on Summary Judgments: Trial Courts Must Explain Reasoning When Ruling on Summary Judgment Motions and Can't Delegate that Function to Counsel
The Tennessee Supreme Court just issued its opinion in Smith v. UHS Lakeside, Inc., No. W2011-02405-SC-R11-CV (Tenn. Jul. 15, 2014). The summary from the opinion states as follows:
This appeal involves the manner in which a trial court granted motions for summary judgment in a proceeding involving the death of a patient whose treatment for viral encephalitis was delayed because he was also being assessed for involuntary commitment to a psychiatric hospital. The widow of the deceased patient filed suit against three health care providers in the Circuit Court for Shelby County. In her original complaint and four subsequent amended complaints, the widow asserted eight causes of action against one or more of the providers. The trial court eventually granted a series of summary judgments dismissing all the claims against one of the providers without explaining the grounds for its decisions and requested counsel for the provider to prepare appropriate orders “establish[ing] the rationale for the [c]ourt’s ruling in quite specific detail.” The provider’s counsel prepared detailed orders adopting all the arguments the provider had made in favor of its summary judgment motions, and the trial court signed these orders over the widow’s objections. The widow appealed, arguing that the trial court had failed to provide reasons for its decisions and that the orders did not accurately reflect what had occurred at the summary judgment hearings. The Court of Appeals vacated the disputed orders because the trial court had failed to state the legal grounds for its decisions as required by Tenn. R. Civ. P. 56.04 and remanded the case to the trial court. Smith v. UHS of Lakeside, Inc., No. W2011-02405-COA-R3-CV, 2013 WL 210250, at *12-13 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 18, 2013). We granted the provider’s application for permission to appeal. We have determined that the record establishes that the contested orders were not the product of the trial court’s independent judgment, and therefore, we hold that the trial court failed to comply with Tenn. R. Civ. P. 56.04.
Here is a link to the slip opinion:
Friday, July 11, 2014
New Medical Malpractice Case (n.k.a. Health Care Liability Action): Plaintiff's Claim Against Additional Defendants Held to Be Time-barred
The Tennessee Court of Appeals issued its opinion today in Robinson v. Baptist Memorial Hospital, No. W2013-01198-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Jul. 11, 2014). Here is the summary from the opinion:
This is a medical negligence/wrongful death case. Following their mother’s death, Appellants’ filed the instant lawsuit against several doctors who provided treatment to their mother. During discovery, Appellants allegedly learned that the Appellee physician had amended his original consultation report to correct a mis-diagnosis of the Decedent’s condition. Appellants were granted leave to amend their complaint to add the Appellee and his medical practice as defendants to the lawsuit. The amended complaint naming the Appellees was filed some five years after the filing of the original lawsuit. Appellees moved for summary judgment on the ground that the statutes of limitations and repose barred Appellants’ case. The trial court granted summary judgment, finding that the Appellants had not shown facts sufficient to establish fraudulent concealment on the part of the Appellee physician so as to toll the applicable one-year statute of limitations and three-year statute of repose under Tennessee Code Annotated Section 29-26-116. The trial court also found that Appellants had failed to exercise due diligence in discovering the alleged fraudulent concealment. Appellants appeal. For the reasons stated herein, we affirm and remand.
Here is a link to the slip opinion:
Note: This case was decided under the old law in Tennessee before cases were referred to by statute as "health care liability actions." This does not, however, appear to affect the holding of this case.
Wednesday, July 09, 2014
New Medical Malpractice Case (n.k.a. Health Care Liability Action): Plaintiff Allowed to Nonsuit Case to Cure Allegedly Defective Certificate of Good Faith
The Tennessee Court of Appeals just issued its opinion in Davis v. Ibach, No. W2013-02514-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Jul. 9, 2014). The summary from the opinion states as follows:
This is a medical malpractice wrongful death action. After the plaintiff filed this lawsuit, he timely filed a certificate of good faith, as required by the medical malpractice statute. The certificate did not include a statement that the executing party had “zero” violations of the statute. The defendants filed a motion to dismiss based on this omission. The plaintiff in turn filed a notice of voluntary nonsuit without prejudice. The defendants objected to a dismissal without prejudice. The defendants argued that, if the certificate of good faith does not strictly comply with the statutes, the trial court must dismiss the case with prejudice. The trial court granted the voluntary nonsuit without prejudice, and the defendants now appeal that decision.
Discerning no error, we affirm.
Here is a link to the opinion:
Note: this opinion deals with some law that is no longer in effect. However, that does not appear to affect the holding of this case.
Tuesday, July 08, 2014
Another Health Care Liability Action Opinion: Plaintiff's Case Dismissed Due to Running of Statute of Limitations That Was Not Extended by Presuit Notice That Was Transmitted in a Manner Proscribed by Statute
The Tennessee Court of Appeals recently issued its opinion in Arden v. Kozawa, No. E2013-01598-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Jun. 18, 2014). The summary from the opinion states as follows:
The plaintiff, as surviving spouse, appeals the trial court’s dismissal of his health care liability action against the defendant doctor who treated the plaintiff’s wife prior to her death and the hospital wherein the treatment occurred. The trial court granted the defendants’motions for summary judgment based upon the plaintiff’s failure to strictly comply with the pre-suit notice requirements of Tennessee Code Annotated § 29-26-121 (Supp. 2013). We reverse the trial court’s ruling that the plaintiff had to strictly comply with the provisions of the notice requirement and conclude that the plaintiff substantially complied with said requirement. We affirm, however, the trial court’s ruling that the plaintiff could not rely upon the statutory 120-day extension of the statute of limitations due to his failure to properly serve the notice. We therefore affirm the trial court’s dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims as barred by the statute of limitations.
Here is a link to the opinion: