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Saturday, October 10, 2020

New Health Care Liability Action Opinion: Trial Court's Denial of Sanctions Sought by Defendant-Physician Against Other Defendants for the Latter's Failure to Support Claim Against Defendant-Physician with Competent Expert Testimony Under Tenn. Code Ann. sec. 29-26-122 Upheld on Appeal

The Tennessee Court of Appeals has issued its opinion in Smih v. Outen, No. W2019-01226-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 9, 2020).  The syllabus from the slip opinion reads:

In this health care liability action, the defendant pharmacists were sued for dispensing the wrong medication to the plaintiff. The defendants then alleged comparative fault against Appellant doctor, who was treating the patient. The plaintiff amended her complaint to allege fault against the doctor. However, the doctor was eventually granted summary judgment when no expert was produced to support the claim. Appellant doctor then sought sanctions pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated section 29-26-122(d)(3) on the basis that, inter alia, the defendants’ certificate of good faith was supported by the written statement of an incompetent expert witness. The trial court denied the motion for sanctions. We affirm. 

Here is a link to the slip opinion:

http://www.tncourts.gov/sites/default/files/smithdebraopn_0.pdf.

NOTE: This opinion analyzes the effects of a defendant failing to comply with Tenn. Code Ann. sec. 29-26-122.  It is a must-read opinion for any lawyer who handles health care liability actions (f.k.a. medical malpractice cases) governed by Tennessee law.    


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