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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

New Health Care Liability Action: Trial Court's Denial of Dismissal Upheld on Appeal Due to the Application of the Discovery Rule

The Tennessee Court of Appeals has released its decision in Archer v. Sodexo Operations, LLC, No. W2020-01176-COA-R9-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. May 25, 2022). The opinion's syllabus reads:

This interlocutory appeal arises from a health care liability action. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss based on the statute of limitations. In response, the plaintiff invoked the discovery rule and argued that his claim was timely filed after he learned the identity of the defendant. The plaintiff submitted an affidavit of counsel in an effort to detail the due diligence undertaken by the plaintiff to ascertain the identity of the defendant. Upon considering the affidavit, the trial court denied the defendant’s motion to dismiss. However, the trial court granted permission for the defendant to seek an interlocutory appeal. This Court granted the defendant’s application. We now affirm the trial court’s order and remand for further proceedings. 

Here is a link to the slip opinion:

NOTE: This decision offers up a great explanation of the current state of the discovery rule in health care liability actions (HCLA)  (f/k/a medical malpractice cases). It is a must-read case for any lawyer who handles HCLAs under Tennessee substantive law. 

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