REV. J. M. SHAFFER v. MEMPHIS AIRPORT AUTHORITY, SERVICE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS, INC., AND JOHN DOE B. THROUGH D.

This interlocutory appeal involves comparative fault and amending to add a defendant. The plaintiff suffered slip-and-fall injuries at the defendant airport. The day before the statute of limitations ran, the plaintiff filed this lawsuit against the airport, alleging negligence. The airport’s answer asserted comparative fault but did not identify an additional tortfeasor. In later discovery, the airport identified its janitorial service. The plaintiff amended her complaint to add the janitorial service as a defendant, citing T.C.A.§ 20-1-119. The defendant janitorial service filed a motion to dismiss, citing the statute of limitations. The trial court declined to dismiss the claims against the janitorial service, holding that the disclosure of the identity of the janitorial service in discovery triggered the 90-day statutory period under Section 20-1-119 in which the plaintiff is permitted to amend the complaint to add a defendant. We reverse, holding that, by the express terms of Section 20-1-119, the statutory 90-day period is not triggered by a defendant’s response to a discovery request.

Attorney 1: 

Hope B. Calabro, Memphis, Tennessee, for Defendant/Appellants, Service Management Systems, Inc.

Attorney 2: 

Steven W. Pittman, Hernando, Mississippi, for Plaintiff/Appellee, Rev. J. M. Shaffer

Judge: 
KIRBY
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