News

Pre-suit Notice Provision Applies to Governmental Health Care Providers, per Middle Section

VALDA BOWERS BANKS ET AL. v. BORDEAUX LONG TERM CARE ET AL.
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Joseph K. Dughman, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Valda Bowers Banks.

Paul Jefferson Campbell, II, Catherine Jane Dundon, and Melissa S. Roberge, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Bordeaux Long Term Care, Hospital Authority of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville, and Metropolitan Government of Nashville Davidson County.

Judge: CLEMENT

The principal issue in this appeal is whether the 2011 amendments to the Healthcare Liability Act (“HCLA”) extend the statute of limitations in Governmental Tort Liability Act (“GTLA”) cases. The trial court concluded that the 2011 amendments did not extend the statute of limitations for healthcare liability claims against governmental entities and dismissed all claims against the governmental entities as time-barred. Plaintiff appealed. After this appeal was filed, this court ruled in Harper v. Bradley Cnty., No. E2014-00107- COA-R9-CV, 2014 WL 5487788 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 30, 2014), that the 2011 amendments to the HCLA extend the GTLA’s one-year statute of limitations by 120 days when a plaintiff has complied with the pre-suit notice requirements of the HCLA, and we concur with the ruling in Harper. Because the plaintiff in this action complied with the pre-suit notice requirements of the HCLA and commenced this action against the governmental entities within the 120-day window, we have determined this action was commenced timely. Therefore, the plaintiff’s claims against the governmental entities should not have been dismissed as time-barred. Accordingly, we reverse the dismissal of these claims and remand for reinstatement of the claims and for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

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Contractually Shortened State of Limitation Imposed by Court of Appeals in Reversing Trial Court

LLOYD L. MEYERS v. FARMERS AID ASSOCIATION OF LOUDON COUNTY, TENNESSEE
CORRECTION: Lisa Jellison Hall has been added as an attorney for the appellant
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Christopher Dunn Heagerty and Lisa Jellison Hall, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Farmers Aid Association of Loudon County, Tennessee.

A. Wayne Henry, for the appellee, Lloyd L. Meyers.

Judge: ARMSTRONG

This is an interlocutory appeal from the denial of Appellant insurer’s motion for summary judgment in an action on a homeowner’s policy that contained a contractual one-year statute of limitations. The Appellee insured filed suit eighteen months after the loss occurred. In the trial court, the Appellant insurer moved for summary judgment, arguing that the one-year statute of limitations in the Appellee insured’s policy was a bar to his action. The trial court agreed with the Appellee’s interpretation of the policy provisions and denied the motion for summary judgment. This court granted the Appellant’s application for interlocutory appeal. Following our review, we reverse the trial court’s decision and remand the case for entry of summary judgment in favor of Appellant.

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Additur of $10,000 to $3,500 is Affirmed by Western Section

AUDREY BONNER, ET AL. V. DEAN DEYO, ET AL.
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Eric J. Plumley, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellants, Dean Deyo and Kathleen Deyo.

Joseph Michael Cook, Germantown, Tennessee, for the appellees, Audrey Bonner and Floyd Bonner, Jr.

Judge: STAFFORD

This appeal results from the trial court’s suggestion of additur to a jury verdict stemming from an automobile accident. Plaintiff sued for damage to her vehicle and physical injuries sustained when she was rear-ended by one of the defendants. Plaintiff’s husband also asserted a loss of consortium claim. The plaintiffs sued both the driver of the vehicle and the vehicle’s owner, also husband and wife. As the matter of liability was stipulated, the only issues submitted to the jury was the amount of damages, if any, suffered by the plaintiffs. The jury returned a verdict awarding plaintiff $3,577.00 for her medical expenses, but declined to award the plaintiffs any damages claimed for other injuries, including any pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, or loss of consortium. The trial court suggested an additur of $10,000.00 to the jury verdict. Defendants accepted the additur under protest and timely appealed to this Court. Discerning no error, we affirm.

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High Court to Hear Pregnancy Discrimination Case

The Supreme Court today heard arguments regarding a former UPS driver who sued the company for discriminating against pregnant women. Peggy Young was pregnant with her now 7-year-old daughter when UPS told her she could not have a temporary assignment to avoid lifting heavy packages, as her doctor had ordered. Young's case hinges on the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, a law that Congress passed in 1978 specifically to include discrimination against pregnant women as a violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The question in Young's case is whether UPS violated the law through its policy of providing temporary light-duty work only to employees who had on-the-job injuries, were disabled under federal law or lost their federal driver certification. WATE has more.

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AOC Clarifies New Rule Allowing Fixed-Fee Contracts for Indigent Representation

The Administrative Office of the Courts today released a statement clarifying the recent adoption of a new Rule 13, Section 7, allowing flat fee contracts for court-appointed work in the areas of judicial hospitalization, child support contempt and dependency and neglect cases. The office reiterated that the new rule does not require but merely allows fixed fee contracts in these case areas, nor does it require the AOC to award contracts to lowest bidder or engage in bidding at all.

"The goal is not to displace attorneys who currently do the work," the AOC said in its statement. "The goal is to manage the resources given to the indigent fund by the legislature in the most efficient way possible." The AOC indicated that the first area to use the new contract method will be Shelby County in judicial hospitalization cases. Beginning in January 2015, judges may still assign attorneys to these cases, but only those who agree to the new contract system. In the 2013-14 budget year, judicial hospitalizations represented only 4 percent of the Indigent Representation Fund budget.

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Middle Section Affirms Constitutionality of TN Product Liability Act Statute of Repose

EARL T. ADAMS v. AIR LIQUIDE AMERICA, L. P. ET AL.
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Pat Montgomery Barrett, III, Nashville, Tennessee, and Lance P. Bradley and Jill S. Chatelain, pro hac vice, Port Arthur, Texas, for the appellant, Earl T. Adams.

Samuel P. Funk, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Air Liquide America, L.P.

Joseph M. Huffaker, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Empire Abrasive Equipment Corporation.

Judge: CLEMENT

The sole issue presented in this appeal concerns the constitutionality of Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-28-103, the ten-year statute of repose under the Tennessee Products Liability Act and the exceptions to the statute of repose for asbestos claims and silicone gel breast implant claims, but not for silica-related claims. After working as a sandblaster for thirty years, Plaintiff developed silica-related injuries. Thereafter, Plaintiff commenced a products liability action against several silica manufacturers and suppliers, which was filed outside the ten-year period. When the defendants moved for summary judgment contending the action was timebarred by the ten-year statute of repose, Plaintiff challenged the constitutionality of the statute of repose as applied to silica claimants on equal protection grounds. Utilizing a rational basis analysis, the trial court found that silica claims were not similarly situated by injury or class to asbestos claims, and, if they were similarly situated, a rational basis exists to distinguish between the two. The trial court also found that silica has no similarity to silicone gel breast implants. Thus, the trial court summarily dismissed the action as timebarred based on the ten-year statute of repose under the Tennessee Products Liability Act, specifically Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-28-103(a). We affirm.

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Middle Section Affirms TCPA Award Against Tennessee Farmers with Fees Equalling 55% of the Damage Award

ERIC D. BROOKS, ET AL. V. TENNESSEE FARMERS MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Jack O. Bellar and Jamie D. Winkler, Carthage, Tennessee, for the appellant, Tennessee Farmers Mutual Insurance Company.

William L. Moore, Gallatin, Tennessee; and Edgar Taylor, Hartsville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Eric D. Brooks and Tonia D. Brooks.

Judge: DINKINS

Plaintiffs filed suit against their property insurer for breach of their homeowner’s insurance policy to recover for damages sustained to their home as a result of a tornado; Plaintiffs also alleged that Defendant violated the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”). A jury found that Defendant’s actions violated the TCPA and awarded damages to Plaintiffs. Finding Defendant’s conduct to be willful, the trial court doubled the jury’s award; the court also awarded Plaintiffs attorneys fees and costs. Defendant appeals. We modify the award of costs to Plaintiffs; in all other respects, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

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Property Owner's Summary Judgment Survives Eastern Section Review in Case Involving Allegedly Defective Stairs

BRENDA Y. HANNAH v. SHERWOOD FOREST RENTALS, LLC, ET AL.
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

H. Franklin Chancey, Cleveland, Tennessee, for the appellant, Brenda Y. Hannah.

Kenneth W. Ward, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Sherwood Forest Rentals, LLC d/b/a Sherwood Forest Resort; Mary Ruth Hovell; and Charles M. Hovell.

Judge: FRIERSON

This appeal results from the grant of summary judgment to the defendants in a premises liability action. The plaintiff fell while descending a set of wooden stairs leading to a rental cabin. The plaintiff filed the instant action against the owners of the cabin and the rental company, which manages and maintains the cabin. In granting summary judgment to the defendants, the trial court determined that there were no genuine issues of material fact by which a reasonable jury could find that either defendant had actual or constructive notice of any allegedly defective condition existing that caused or contributed to the plaintiff’s fall. The plaintiff has appealed. Discerning no error, we affirm.

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Appeals Court: Officials Immune from Protestors’ Claims

The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday reversed a federal district court ruling in finding that Tennessee officials are entitled to qualified immunity for alleged violations of protesters’ First Amendment rights. The finding came in a case brought by six “Occupy Nashville” protestors seeking to sue state officials after they were arrested for violating a curfew. The district court had found that the officials were not entitled to immunity and were personally liable for damages. In the appeal, state officials argued that protesters had no First Amendment right to occupy state property indefinitely. Absent this right, there could be no constitutional violation, and qualified immunity should apply. The Sixth Circuit agreed. The ABA provides an analysis of the decision.

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Court Seeks Comments on Rule Change Package

The Tennessee Supreme Court has published the annual package of recommendations from the Advisory Commission on Rules of Procedure and Evidence. Proposals include new authority for appellate courts to suspend rules; requirements for electronic copies of transcripts; specification of the color of application responses and amici in TRAP 9 and 11 matters; and refinement of criminal contempt provisions. Four TBA sections — Appellate Practice, Litigation, Tort and Insurance Law, and Criminal Justice — will review the recommendations and propose comments on behalf of the association. Comments on the proposals are due Nov. 27.

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Nashville Lawyers Win $27M Philip Morris Verdict

Kenny Byrd and John Spragens, both with the Nashville office of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, have won a $27 million verdict against Philip Morris USA after a Florida jury agreed that the company targeted teenagers as consumers. Among the evidence presented at trial was a company memo that stated, “today’s teenager is tomorrow’s regular customer.” The case of Judith Berger – who began smoking at age 14 – stemmed from a class action that was decertified, though individual cases were allowed to proceed. The Nashville Post has more.

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Slatery Addresses Amendment 2, Upcoming Term

Newly appointed state Attorney General Herbert Slatery was in Knoxville yesterday with former Gov. Phil Bredesen campaigning for Amendment 2 to the state constitution. When asked by reporters how he would differ from his predecessor, Slatery said, “I think I will do it differently, which is not to say better. I am a people person. I like to build relationships.” Slatery also said he will spend time talking to legislators. “I want to see all of the sides of an issue,” he explained. Finally, he pledged the office would continue fighting Medicare fraud and protecting consumers. Knoxnews has more.

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Medical-Legal Partnerships, Copyright and More in New TBJ

TBA President Jonathan Steen explains medical-legal partnerships in his September Tennessee Bar Journal column and his hopes for fostering more MLPs in the state. Technology versus the Copyright Act is covered by Nashville lawyer Tim Warnock, while columnists Marlene Eskind Moses and Benjamin Russ write about forced marriage.

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DA Seeking Potential Victims in Alleged Cemetery Scam

The Third Judicial District Attorney General’s office in Rogersville would like to interview anyone who purchased a grave plot or mausoleum vault at the Hawkins County Memorial Gardens (HCMG) — particularly those sold by former owner/operator Vickie Ringley, who is accused of taking money for work that was not performed. The request is part of an ongoing fraud investigation at the cemetery. An investigator with the attorney general’s office will be in Rogersville this week to speak with potential victims. The Times News has more on the story.

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MD Escapes Liability for PA's Conduct

MARCHELLE BUMAN, EXECUTOR OF THE ESTATE OF KENNETH JENKINS v. ALYCIA D. GIBSON, P.A., THOMAS PAUL EVANS, M.D., ANDREW H. LUNDBERG, M.D., AND PARIS SURGICAL SPECIALISTS, PLLC
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Al H. Thomas and Aaron L. Thomas, Memphis, Tennessee for Plaintiff/Appellant Marchelle Renee Buman, Executor of the Estate of Kenneth Jenkins.

William H. Haltom, Jr., Memphis, Tennessee for the Defendant/Appellee Thomas Paul Evans, M.D.

Judge: SUMMERS

This is a health care liability action involving a physician’s duties when supervising a physician’s assistant. The plaintiff alleged the supervising physician negligently supervised a physician’s assistant which resulted in the eventual amputation of the plaintiff’s leg. The physician moved for summary judgment, contending that he complied with all statutory duties. The plaintiff responded to this motion and simultaneously moved to amend her complaint to allege that the physician was vicariously liable for the negligent actions of the physician’s assistant. The trial court denied the plaintiff’s request to amend her complaint and granted the physician’s motion for summary judgment. Discerning no error, we affirm.

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Western Section Affirms That Notice of Nonsuit Precludes Subsequently Filed Summary Judgment Even Without Entry of Order of Dismissal

DESHON EWAN, ET AL. V. THE HARDISON LAW FIRM, ET AL.
Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys:

Richard Glassman, Edwin E. Wallis, III, and William Terrell, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jonathan T. Martin.

Robert M. Fargarson, Daniel F.B. Peel, Ted S. Angelakis, and Daniel A. Seward, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellees, DeShon Ewan and Patrick Ewan.

Judge: STAFFORD

Defendant appeals the trial court’s order of voluntary dismissal of Plaintiffs’ complaint. Defendant argues that Plaintiffs were not entitled to a voluntary dismissal because a motion for summary judgment was filed prior to the entry of the order on the nonsuit. We hold that a motion for summary judgment filed after a written notice of nonsuit has been filed does not preclude the plaintiff’s right to take a voluntary dismissal pursuant to Rule 41 of the Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure. We also conclude that the Defendant is not entitled to sanctions pursuant to Rule 11 of the Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure. Affirmed and Remanded.

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Mary Carter, Mary Carter — Is That You? Western Section Treats Mary Carter Issue and Remittur in Lengthy Divided Opinion Following Trucking Case

DONRIEL A. BORNE v. CELADON TRUCKING SERVICES, INC.
With Dissenting Opinion
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Dwight E. Tarwater, Ryan M. Connor, Knoxville, Tennessee; Jim Summers, Kevin W. Washburn, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Celadon Trucking Services, Inc.

R. Sadler Bailey, Thomas R. Greer, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, Donriel A. Borne

Judge: HIGHERS

Plaintiff was injured in an accident involving three tractor-trailer trucks. Plaintiff, who was driving a tractor-trailer, sued the other truck drivers and the trucking company owners of the vehicles. However, prior to trial, Plaintiff entered into an agreement with one of the trucking companies whereby Plaintiff and the agreeing defendant agreed to cooperate regarding the litigation and to work together to expose the defenses asserted by the non-agreeing defendant. The jury returned an itemized verdict of $3,705,000 for the Plaintiff against the non-agreeing defendant. The trial court denied the non-agreeing defendant’s motion for a new trial, but it suggested a remittitur of $1,605,000, for a total award of $2,100,000. Plaintiff accepted the remittitur under protest and the non-agreeing defendant appealed to this Court. For the following reasons, we affirm in part and we reverse in part. Specifically, we affirm the physical pain and mental anguish and permanent injury awards as reduced by the trial court; we reverse the trial court’s suggested remittitur of the loss of earning capacity award and we instead reinstate the jury verdict of $1,455,000; and we further reduce the loss of enjoyment of life award to $50,000. Thus, we approve a total award to Plaintiff of $2,105,000.

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Why Some Business Owners Want New Justices

Among the legal community there is concern that the campaign to remove three of Tennessee's Supreme Court justices poses a threat to the independence of the judiciary and the predictability businesses expect from the high court, but some in the business community argue the opposite, suggesting that appointees from a Republican governor would create greater certainty, the Nashville Business Journal reports. “For business owners, predictability of legislation that’s been passed is critical. Tort reform is a prime example,” said Bill Lee, CEO of Franklin-based Lee Company, a provider of heating, air-conditioning and other facility services. “It’s business-friendly and Tennessee-citizen friendly legislation. The only danger to that continuity is the [state] Supreme Court overturning it, which may well happen with the existing judges in place.”

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Services Pending for Nashville Attorney

Nashville lawyer Peter Halverstadt, a member of the TBA’s Government Affairs Committee, has died. A graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Law, Halverstadt worked for both the Davidson County district attorney and public defender while in school. Following graduation, he opened a solo civil and criminal defense practice, which he maintained from 1994 to 1998. He later joined the Workers’ Compensation Division of the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development, and most recently was serving as assistant administrator of the division and legislative representative for the office. Halverstadt is a past president of the Guardianship and Trusts Corporation, a non-profit organization that provides financial management services for those unable to make informed decisions on their own behalf. Funeral information is not yet available.

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Who Can Talk With Who in a Med Mal Case? The West Section Clarifies

CHERYL HALL, SURVIVING SPOUSE AND NEXT OF KIN OF MARK LAMAR HALL, JR., DECEASED v. JAMES H. CRENSHAW, M.D., THE JACKSON CLINIC PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATION, KEITH ADKINS, M.D., S. PATRICK WHALEN, VANDERBILT HEART AND VASCULAR INSTITUTE, et al.
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Marty R. Phillips and Ashley D. Cleek, Jackson, Tennessee, for Defendant/Appellants James H. Crenshaw, M.D. and The Jackson Clinic Professional Association

Lee J. Chase, Memphis, Tennessee, for Plaintiff/Appellee Cheryl Hall, surviving spouse of Mark Emmett Lamar Hall, Jr.

Judge: KIRBY

This interlocutory appeal involves ex parte communications between defense counsel for a defendant medical entity and non-party physicians who treated the plaintiff’s decedent and are employed by the defendant medical entity. The plaintiff filed this healthcare liability action against the defendant medical entity arising out of treatment of the plaintiff’s decedent. The trial court held that the attorneys for the defendant medical entity are barred under Alsip v. Johnson City Medical Center, 197 S.W.3d 722 (Tenn. 2006), from conferring ex parte with treating physicians employed by the defendant medical entity who are not named as defendants in the lawsuit. The defendant medical entity was granted permission for this interlocutory appeal. We hold that the defendant medical entity has an independent right to communicate privately with its employees, and this right is not abrogated by the filing of the plaintiff’s healthcare liability lawsuit. Therefore, Alsip does not bar the medical entity’s attorneys from communicating ex parte with physicians employed by the medical entity about the physician employee’s medical treatment of the plaintiff’s decedent. Accordingly, we reverse.

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Eastern Section Affirms DJA of No Coverage for ATV Use off Insured Premises

TENNESSEE FARMERS MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY v. JUDY PAULINE SIMMONS ET AL.
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Clifton Corker, Johnson City, Tennessee, for the appellant, Charles Casey.

David R. Shults, Erwin, Tennessee, for the appellee, Tennessee Farmers Mutual Insurance Company.

Judge: FRIERSON

This case presents an issue regarding the proper interpretation of a policy of insurance. The insurance company filed a declaratory judgment action against the defendants, seeking a determination from the trial court regarding whether the insurance policy afforded coverage for an accident involving a four-wheeler vehicle owned by one of the defendants. The accident resulted in the death of a minor, Ryan Casey. The child’s father intervened in the declaratory judgment action. Following a hearing, the trial court concluded that the policy did not provide coverage. The intervenor has appealed. Discerning no error, we affirm.

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Supreme Court Reminds Trial Judges That There is a Duty to Articulate Dispositive Facts When Granting MSJ

MARY C. SMITH v. UHS OF LAKESIDE, INC. ET AL.
Court: TN Supreme Court

Attorneys:

Ashley D. Cleek and Marty R. Phillips, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, UHS of Lakeside, Inc.

Mimi Phillips, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, Mary C. Smith.

Judge: KOCH

This appeal involves the manner in which a trial court granted motions for summary judgment in a proceeding involving the death of a patient whose treatment for viral encephalitis was delayed because he was also being assessed for involuntary commitment to a psychiatric hospital. The widow of the deceased patient filed suit against three health care providers in the Circuit Court for Shelby County. In her original complaint and four subsequent amended complaints, the widow asserted eight causes of action against one or more of the providers. The trial court eventually granted a series of summary judgments dismissing all the claims against one of the providers without explaining the grounds for its decisions and requested counsel for the provider to prepare appropriate orders “establish[ing] the rationale for the [c]ourt’s ruling in quite specific detail.” The provider’s counsel prepared detailed orders adopting all the arguments the provider had made in favor of its summary judgment motions, and the trial court signed these orders over the widow’s objections. The widow appealed, arguing that the trial court had failed to provide reasons for its decisions and that the orders did not accurately reflect what had occurred at the summary judgment hearings. The Court of Appeals vacated the disputed orders because the trial court had failed to state the legal grounds for its decisions as required by Tenn. R. Civ. P. 56.04 and remanded the case to the trial court. Smith v. UHS of Lakeside, Inc., No. W2011-02405- COA-R3-CV, 2013 WL 210250, at *12-13 (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 18, 2013). We granted the provider’s application for permission to appeal. We have determined that the record establishes that the contested orders were not the product of the trial court’s independent judgment, and therefore, we hold that the trial court failed to comply with Tenn. R. Civ. P. 56.04.

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Former Grad Student Files $20M Suit Against Vanderbilt

Allegations of sexual harassment, abuse and discrimination have surfaced in a $20 million lawsuit brought by a former graduate student against Vanderbilt University, News Channel 5 reports. The suit comes at a time when Vanderbilt is already being scrutinized for how it handles harassment complaints. The U.S. Department of Education is investigating the university based on six allegations in 2013 that the school mishandled complaints of sexual assault and harassment. Vanderbilt officials declined to comment for the story saying they had not had time to review the lawsuit.

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Plaintiff's Attempt to Extend SOL Via Fraudulent Concealment Fails to Persuade Western Section in Med Mal Case

MYRTLE ROBINSON ET AL. V. BAPTIST MEMORIAL HOSPITAL ET AL.
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Al H. Thomas and Aaron L. Thomas, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellants, Myrtle Robinson and Willette Jeffries, as the personal representatives of Fannie Oliver Zinn.

Jennifer S. Harrison and Lauren Dunavin Callins, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, Kenneth A. Okpor, M.D. and Memphis Lung Physicians, P.C.

Judge: STAFFORD

This is a medical negligence/wrongful death case. Following their mother’s death, Appellants’ filed the instant lawsuit against several doctors who provided treatment to their mother. During discovery, Appellants allegedly learned that the Appellee physician had amended his original consultation report to correct a mis-diagnosis of the Decedent’s condition. Appellants were granted leave to amend their complaint to add the Appellee and his medical practice as defendants to the lawsuit. The amended complaint naming the Appellees was filed some five years after the filing of the original lawsuit. Appellees moved for summary judgment on the ground that the statutes of limitations and repose barred Appellants’ case. The trial court granted summary judgment, finding that the Appellants had not shown facts sufficient to establish fraudulent concealment on the part of the Appellee physician so as to toll the applicable one-year statute of limitations and three-year statute of repose under Tennessee Code Annotated Section 29-26-116. The trial court also found that Appellants had failed to exercise due diligence in discovering the alleged fraudulent concealment. Appellants appeal. For the reasons stated herein, we affirm and remand.

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Judge Allows Meningitis Case to Proceed

U.S. District Judge Rya Zobel dismissed a request by Saint Thomas Hospital for summary judgment in a court case focused on the hospital’s role in the deadly meningitis outbreak in 2012. If approved, the request would have ended the case without a trial. Zobel’s decision now means that plaintiffs’ lawyers can investigate defendants’ documents and ask the defendants questions under oath. The Tennessean has more.

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