GTLA Trumps Med Mal Act, Per Eastern Section

MARTIS J. KELLEY ET AL. v. CHATTANOOGA-HAMILTON COUNTY HOSPITAL AUTHORITY ET AL.
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Jimmy W. Bilbo and Brent J. McIntosh, Cleveland, Tennessee, for the appellants, Martis J. Kelley and Joseph Kelley, Sr.

Arthur P. Brock and William J. Rieder, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellee, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Hospital Authority.

Judge: SUSANO

This is a medical malpractice action filed pursuant to the Tennessee 1 Medical Malpractice Act (“the TMMA.”) The plaintiffs are wife and husband. The sole defendant is a governmental entity subject to the Governmental Tort Liability Act (“the GTLA”). The defendant operates a hospital in Chattanooga. The complaint alleges that wife was a victim of medical malpractice at the hospital in February 2010. On February 2, 2011, the plaintiffs sent the notice required by Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-26-121(a) (2012), a part of the TMMA. On June 3, 2011, the plaintiffs filed suit against the Hospital Authority. The Authority filed a motion to dismiss pursuant to the provisions of Tenn. R. Civ. P. 12(6), arguing that the suit was not timely filed because it was not filed within the one-year statute of limitations, Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-20-305(b) (2012), set forth in the GTLA. The plaintiffs responded that the period of limitations was extended by 120 days by Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-26-121(c) because the plaintiffs had complied with the pre-suit notice requirements of Tenn. Code Ann. § 29- 26-121(a). The trial court dismissed the complaint as untimely filed. The plaintiffs appeal. We affirm.

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