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Sunday, November 07, 2021

Death of a Party in a Pending Civil Action: Trial Court's Dismissal of Plaintiff's Claim Upheld on Appeal Because Counsel Failed to Properly Revive the Suit Within the Time Allotted by Law and Trial Court Found No Reason to Enlarge Time for a Revivor to Be Effected

The Tennessee Court of Appeals has released its opinion in Mead v. Tucker, No. M2020-01512-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 5, 2021).  The syllabus from the slip opinion reads:

In this personal injury negligence action, the defendant died while the litigation was pending. The plaintiff failed to file a motion for substitution of party within ninety days of the original defendant’s death being suggested on the record. Over a month later, the plaintiff moved the trial court to enlarge the time to substitute the parties pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Civil Procedure 6.02(2). The trial court denied the motion for an enlargement of time. Because the trial court did not abuse its discretion, we affirm.

Here is a link to the opinion:

NOTE: This case reminds one of how important it is to properly revive a case against a deceased party and that an enlargement of time to do that is not always granted after the time to act has expired.  

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