News

Fungal Meningitis Victims to Share $100M National Settlement

The compounding pharmacy responsible for a deadly fungal meningitis outbreak in 2012 that sickened 153 Tennesseans and killed 16 has finalized a plan to compensate families. The compounding center is putting in $50 million, its insurance company is adding $25 million and a tax refund and sale of an affiliated company make up the rest of the $100 million settlement. Nashville attorney Ben Gastel, who represents the collective plaintiffs, says families are lucky to get much at all since the Massachusetts pharmacy declared bankruptcy after the outbreak. His firm is still working on other lawsuits that target Saint Thomas Hospital, which housed the pain clinic responsible for a majority of the infections. Nashville Public Radio has the story.

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Don't Sue Your Future In-Laws When You Slip on a Rock in Their Yard, per Eastern Section

PETROS GOUMAS v. JIMMY MAYSE ET AL.
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Carol Ann Barron, Dayton, Tennessee, for the appellant, Petros Goumas.

Paul Campbell, III, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellees, Jimmy Mayse and Barri Mayse.

Judge: SUSANO

The issue in this slip-and-fall premises liability case is whether the trial court correctly granted summary judgment to the defendants. Petros Goumas (“plaintiff”), the fiancé of the daughter of defendants Jimmy Mayse and wife, Barri Mayse, was staying at the defendants’ house for an extended visit. Plaintiff was working outside in the yard, helping to clear away dead brush and trees from the property, when he stepped on a rock, slipped, fell, and broke his arm. The trial court held that plaintiff presented no proof that the rock (1) was in any way unusual or posed any particular danger, (2) was hidden or concealed, or (3) created any kind of defective or dangerous condition. The court concluded that there was no proof of a known or foreseeable unreasonable risk of injury created by the condition of defendants’ property. Consequently, the court held, as a matter of law, that defendants owed no duty to plaintiff. He appeals. We affirm.

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Pre-suit Notice to State Deemed Sufficient in Med Map Suit Before Claims Commission, per Eastern Section

FELISHA BROWN ET AL. v. KAREN L. SAMPLES ET AL.
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Joshua R. Walker, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, State of Tennessee.

Robert E. Pryor, Jr., Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Felisha Brown and Donald Brown, individually and as parents and next of kin of Silas Brown, deceased.

Judge: SUSANO

This is a medical malpractice action brought against the State of Tennessee 1 and others. The issue as to the appealing State is whether the plaintiffs complied with the pre-suit notice requirements of Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-26-121 (2012 & Supp. 2013). The State argues that the plaintiffs were required to send the pre-suit notice applicable to their claim against the State to either (1) the Attorney General of Tennessee or an Assistant Attorney General, or (2) the Division of Claims Administration of the State. The Tennessee Claims Commission denied the State’s motion to dismiss, finding (1) no statutory authority requiring that pre-suit notice as to the State be served upon one of the parties alluded to by the State, and (2) that the State received adequate pre-suit notice in this case. We affirm and hold that the plaintiffs complied with Section 121’s pre-suit notice requirements by providing notice to the University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine, a health care provider, which entity is a division of an agency of the State of Tennessee and also a named defendant in this case.

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Med Mal Dismissal Reversed Due to Substantial Compliance and Lack of Prejudice by State Supreme Court

RICHARD THURMOND v. MID-CUMBERLAND INFECTIOUS DISEASE CONSULTANTS, PLC ET AL.

CORRECTION: On pages 4, 7, 10 and 12 of the opinion, "HIPAA" has been substituted for "HIPPA".

Court: TN Supreme Court

Attorneys:
Henry S. Queener, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Richard Thurmond.
Suzanne M. Pearson, Dan L. Nolan, and Erik Fuqua, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Mid-Cumberland Infectious Disease Consultants, PLC, and Simi Vincent, M.D.
W. Bryan Smith, Memphis, Tennessee, for the amicus curiae, Tennessee Association for Justice.

Judge: CLARK
Sixty days prior to filing his complaint, the plaintiff in this health care liability action sent written notice of his potential claim to each of the health care providers that would be named as defendants. Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-26-121(a)(1) (2012 & Supp. 2013). The plaintiff served the pre-suit notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, as permitted by statute. Id. § 29-26-121(a)(3)(B). In his subsequent complaint, the plaintiff alleged that he had complied with the statutory requirement of pre-suit notice, id. § 29-26-121(b), but the plaintiff failed to file with the complaint “an affidavit of the party mailing the [pre-suit] notice establishing that the specified notice was timely mailed by certified mail, return receipt requested,” id. § 29-26-121(a)(4). The defendants moved for dismissal of the lawsuit, citing the plaintiff’s failure to file with the complaint an affidavit of the person who had sent the pre-suit notice by certified mail. The defendants did not allege that the lack of the affidavit resulted in prejudice. Instead, the defendants contended that the pre-suit notice statute demands strict compliance with all its requirements and that dismissal is the mandatory remedy for noncompliance. The trial court “reluctantly” agreed with the defendants and dismissed the complaint. The Court of Appeals affirmed but noted the “harsh results” strict compliance produces in cases, such as this one, where no prejudice is alleged. We granted the plaintiff’s application for permission to appeal. We hold that the statutory requirement of an affidavit of the person who sent pre-suit notice by certified mail may be satisfied by substantial compliance. We also hold that the plaintiff substantially complied with the statute. Accordingly, the judgment of the Court of Appeals affirming the trial court’s dismissal of the complaint is reversed; the complaint is reinstated; and this matter is remanded to the trial court for further proceedings.

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Health Care, Insurance Associate Sought in Memphis

A Memphis law firm has an immediate opening for an associate attorney with two to six years experience to work in the areas of health care law and insurance defense. A Tennessee bar license is required and a Mississippi license is preferred. The firm reports that the opening is an excellent opportunity for professional growth in a unique work environment. Submit cover letter and resume to memphistnlawfirm@gmail.com. Learn more in this job description.

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To What Extent are Personal Injury Proceeds Part of a Marital Estate When the Divorce Hits? The Western Section Clarifies

MELINDA JAN METZINGER v. RONALD WAYNE METZINGER

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Jason R. Creasy, Dyersburg, Tennessee, for the appellant, Ronald Wayne Metzinger

Albert Wade, Jr., Paris, Tennessee, for the appellee, Melinda Jan Metzinger

Judge: HIGHERS

This appeal involves the classification and division of Husband’s $66,000.00 personal injury settlement in a divorce proceeding. The trial court classified the settlement as marital property, it deducted $13,400.00 for what it found to be “legitimate expense[s] of the marriage” paid by Husband, and it awarded Wife one-half of the balance, or $26,300.00. We reverse the trial court’s award to Wife.

The Court cited the following statute as determinative:
(C) “Marital property” includes recovery in personal injury . . . for the following: wages lost during the marriage, reimbursement for medical bills incurred and paid with marital property, and property damage to marital property.
Tenn. Code Ann. 36-4-121(b)(1)(A), (C).

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To What Extent are Personal Injury Proceeds Part of a Marital Estate When the Divorce Hits? The Western Section Clarifies

MELINDA JAN METZINGER v. RONALD WAYNE METZINGER

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Jason R. Creasy, Dyersburg, Tennessee, for the appellant, Ronald Wayne Metzinger

Albert Wade, Jr., Paris, Tennessee, for the appellee, Melinda Jan Metzinger

Judge: HIGHERS

This appeal involves the classification and division of Husband’s $66,000.00 personal injury settlement in a divorce proceeding. The trial court classified the settlement as marital property, it deducted $13,400.00 for what it found to be “legitimate expense[s] of the marriage” paid by Husband, and it awarded Wife one-half of the balance, or $26,300.00. We reverse the trial court’s award to Wife.

The Court cited the following statute as determinative:
(C) “Marital property” includes recovery in personal injury . . . for the following: wages lost during the marriage, reimbursement for medical bills incurred and paid with marital property, and property damage to marital property.
Tenn. Code Ann. 36-4-121(b)(1)(A), (C).

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Western Section Reverses GTLA Defense Verdict for Jail's Failure to Treat Hypertension

JOHN PAYNE AS NEXT OF KIN ON BEHALF OF THE LEGAL MINOR HEIRS OF MARCUS K. PAYNE v. TIPTON COUNTY, TENNESSEE
Court: TN Court of Appeals
Attorneys:
Danese K. Banks and Ursula Y. Holmes, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, John Payne, as next of kin on behalf of the legal minor heirs of Marcus K. Payne.
Brandon O. Gibson and Jon A. York, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellee, Tipton County, Tennessee.
Judge: STAFFORD
This is a negligence case filed against Tipton County for injuries an inmate sustained as a result of a severe hypertensive crisis that occurred while he was confined in the Tipton County jail. The trial court denied the claim, finding that Tipton County did not breach the duty of care. Based on the evidence in the record, we reverse the decision of the trial court and remand this matter for consideration of damages. Reversed and remanded.

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Eastern Section Reverses Finding that UM Carrier's Efforts to Avoid Arbitration were Flawed

LINDA F. COFFEY ET AL. v. TYLER N. HOFFMAN ET AL.
Court: TN Court of Appeals
Attorneys:
Thomas L. Kilday and Brandy M. Burnette, Greeneville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Tennessee Farmers Mutual Insurance Company.
Phillip L. Boyd, Rogersville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Linda F. Coffey and C. Wayne Coffey.
Judge: SUSANO
The issue presented in this appeal is whether the plaintiffs’ uninsured motorist insurance carrier preserved its rights to a jury trial and subrogation interest under Tenn. Code Ann. § 56-7-1206 (2008). This statute allows an uninsured motorist insurer to “elect to decline binding arbitration and preserve its subrogation rights” under certain prescribed circumstances. Tenn. Code Ann. § 56-7-1206(k). The trial court held that the uninsured motorist insurance carrier failed to comply with a local circuit court rule that requires a response to a motion to be filed and served on the movant no later than 30 days after the motion is filed. Pursuant to that local rule, the trial court treated the plaintiffs’ motion to compel arbitration as “unopposed.” The trial court further held that the uninsured motorist insurance carrier “did not strictly comply with the requirement of T.C.A. § 56-7-1206 objecting to arbitration” and ordered the parties to submit to binding arbitration. We hold that the uninsured motorist insurance carrier complied with the statute, thereby preserving its rights to a jury trial and subrogation, and that the local rule does not operate to abrogate these rights. The judgment of the trial court is vacated and this case is remanded to the trial court for further proceedings.

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Bad Lighting Premises Liability Claim Gets New Life When Eastern Section Reverses Summary Judgment

CYNTHIA L. CHRISTIAN, ET AL. v. AYERS L.P. d/b/a MS. LASSIE’S LODGE
Court: TN Court of Appeals
Attorneys:
R. Kim Burnette and Stacie D. Miller, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Cynthia L. and Benny Christian.
P. Alexander Vogel, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Ayers L.P. d/b/a Ms. Lassie’s Lodge.
Judge: MCCLARTY
This is a premises liability case. An attendee at an event fell in the defendant’s parking lot and sustained injuries. The attendee and her husband filed suit against the defendant claiming negligence because the parking area had no lighting on the evening of the fall. The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, asserting it: had no notice the outdoor lights were burned out; owed no duty to the attendee; and the attendee was more than fifty percent at fault for her injuries. The trial court determined the record contained insufficient evidence to establish that the defendant had notice the outside lights were not working. The other issues raised were dismissed as moot. The plaintiffs appeal. We reverse and remand for further proceedings.

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Med Mal Filings Like Horseshoes and Hand Grenades--Close Enough is OK, Per Eastern Section

CHARLES J. CHAMBERS EX REL. ODIS M. CHAMBERS v. BRADLEY COUNTY ET AL.
Court: TN Court of Appeals
Attorneys:
Thomas M. Pinckney, Stephen W. Elliott, and Fetlework Balite-Panelo, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Bradley Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center.
Ashley L. Ownby, Cleveland, Tennessee, for the appellee, Odis M. Chambers.
Judge: SUSANO
In this medical malpractice case, the defendants moved to dismiss the complaint with prejudice on the grounds that plaintiff failed to file, with his complaint, the affidavit of the person who mailed pre-suit notice to the defendants. The trial court, noting that plaintiff complied with Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-26-121 (Supp. 2013) in every respect except for filing the affidavit, and that he filed the affidavit shortly after the complaint, denied the motion to dismiss on the ground that plaintiff had substantially complied with the statute. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.
 

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Failure to Return Expired Unserved Process Does Not Save Plaintiff from TRCP 3 Dismissal

EDDIE R. GATES v. ANDREW S. PERRY, ET AL.
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

F. R. (Rick) Evans, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Andrew S. Perry.

Jimmy W. Bilbo and Brent J. McIntosh, Cleveland, Tennessee, for the appellee, Eddie R. Gates.

Judge: SWINEY

This interlocutory appeal concerns the issue of whether the requirement of obtaining new process or recommencing an action in general sessions court is triggered for purposes of Tenn. Code Ann. § 16-15-710 by the failure to return unserved the prior process within 60 days as required by Tenn. Code Ann. § 16-15-902. Eddie R. Gates (“Gates”), alleging damages sustained in an automobile accident, sued Andrew S. Perry (“Perry”) in the General Sessions Court for Bradley County (“the General Sessions Court”). Gates’ suit was dismissed. On Gates’ appeal to the Circuit Court for Bradley County (“the Circuit Court”), Perry moved to dismiss, again alleging that the statute of limitations had run during the long gap between issuance and reissuance of process in the General Sessions Court action. The Circuit Court denied Perry’s motion, holding that the time bar did not operate because process was not returned unserved and, therefore, the statute of limitations never ran. We granted permission for this interlocutory appeal. We reverse the Circuit Court.

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Defamation without Damage Results in Directed Verdict Being Affirmed by Eastern Section

CHARLES NARDONE v. LOUIS A. CARTWRIGHT, JR., ET AL.
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Eric C. Vinsant, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Charles Nardone.
R. Deno Cole, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Louis A. Cartwright, Jr. and Cartwright Communication Technology, Inc.

Judge: SWINEY

Charles Nardone (“Plaintiff”) sued Louis A. Cartwright, Jr. and Cartwright Communication Technology, Inc. (“CCT”) alleging, among other things, slander and libel. During trial, defendants moved for a directed verdict, which the Trial Court granted by order entered December 6, 2012. Plaintiff appeals the dismissal of his claim for libel. We find and hold that Plaintiff failed to prove libel, and we affirm.

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Four Appellate Decisions Later, the Plaintiff's $8.5M Judgment is Still Uncollectible.

CLIFTON A. LAKE, ET AL. v. THE MEMPHIS LANDSMEN, LLC, ET AL.
Court: TN Court of Appeals


Attorneys:
C. Phillip M. Campbell and Gary K. Smith, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellants, Clifton A. Lake and Charleen J. Lake.
Kenneth R. Rudstrom, Memphis, Tennessee, and James E. Singer, Atlanta, Georgia, for the appellee, The Memphis Landsmen, LLC.
Molly A. Glover, Anna Vergos Blair, Eric J. Lewellyn, Aaron Robert Parker and Steven N. Snyder, Jr., Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, Metrotrans Corporation.
Kirk A. Caraway, Heather Webb Fletcher and James Branson Summers, Memphis, Tennessee,for the appellee, Budget Rent A Car System, Inc.

Judge: FARMER


This appeal is from a jury verdict in a negligence and products liability case. Plaintiff- Husband suffered a traumatic brain injury when he was a passenger on a bus that collided with a concrete truck. Plaintiff-Husband and Plaintiff-Wife filed suit against the bus manufacturer, the bus owner, and the bus owner’s franchisor. The jury found that the Plaintiffs suffered $8,543,630 in damages, but apportioned 100% of the fault for the collision to the owner of the concrete truck, with whom the Plaintiffs reached a settlement prior to trial. Plaintiffs appealed. We find that the jury’s verdict was proper and is supported by material evidence. We therefore affirm the judgment of the trial court.

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Suit Against Client for Unpaid Legal Fees Produces Suit for Legal Malpractice, Western Section Affirms Dismissal of the Latter

TIMOTHY W. HUDSON v. DELILAH M. GRUNLOH
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Delilah M. Grunloh, Johnson City, Tennessee, pro se

Timothy W. Hudson, Bristol, Tennessee, pro se

Judge: HIGHERS

This case involves a claim for contractual attorney fees and a counterclaim for legal malpractice. The trial court dismissed the legal malpractice claim at the summary judgment stage, it granted summary judgment on certain aspects of the attorney’s fee claim, and, following a trial, it awarded a judgment in favor of the attorney. We affirm.

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Summary Judgment for Parent Charity Reversed by Western Section in Child Abuse Case

MS. B., INDIVIDUALLY AND ON BEHALF OF MINOR CHILD, JOHN DOE, “N” v. BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB OF MIDDLE TENNESSEE, ET AL.
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Luvell L. Glanton, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Mother.

Gregory W. Callaway and Susan Scott VanDyke, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

Judge: FARMER

Plaintiff filed an action against Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, in addition to its Tennessee affiliate and others, seeking damages arising from alleged sexual and emotional abuse of a minor child by a Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee volunteer. The trial court determined that the national organization did not owe a duty to the minor child and entered summary judgment in favor of the organization. We reverse and remand for further proceedings.

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Supreme Court Clarifies Rule on Amending Complaints

In a unanimous opinion, Michael S. Becker et al v. Ford Motor Company, the Tennessee Supreme Court has held that state law allows a plaintiff to add a defendant whose involvement was raised by the original defendant, even when the plaintiff was aware of the new defendant before the statute of limitations expired. Learn more from the Administrative Office of the Courts.

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17:1 Ratio on Punitive to Compensatory Damages Cannot Stand--For Want of a Sufficiently High Ad Damnum.

RHEATTA F. WILSON, ET AL. v. AMERICARE SYSTEMS, INC., ET AL.
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Roger W. Dickson and Robert F. Parsley, Chattanooga, Tennessee; and David L. Johnson, Nashville, Tennessee for the appellant, Americare Systems, Inc.

C. J. Gideon, Jr. and Alan S. Bean, Nashville, Tennessee; and Raymond W. Fraley, Jr., Fayetteville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Rheaetta F. Wilson and Lauralyn F. Watson.

Judge: BENNETT

A defendant appeals the award of punitive damages arising from the death of a patient at an assisted living facility, which the defendant managed. We affirm the trial court’s review of the Hodges factors and the due process analysis relating to the punitive damage award. We also affirm the trial court’s directed verdict making the defendant liable for the actions of the assisted living facility’s employees. We must modify the amount of the punitive damage award by reducing it to comply with the amount the plaintiff requested in the ad damnum clause of their complaint.

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At the Crossroads of Three Statutes: TCA 20-119 Saves Action Against City

RICHARD MORENO v. CITY OF CLARKSVILLE
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Bruce A. Kennedy and John T. Maher, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Richard Moreno.

Lance A. Baker and Jeffrey T. Goodson, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellee, City of Clarksville.

Judge: BENNETT

Plaintiff filed a timely claim with the Division of Claims Administration, which did not resolve the claim within the statutory period. The claim was transferred to the Claims Commission, and Plaintiff filed a complaint pursuant to the Claims Commission Rules. Much later, the State amended its answer to allege fault by the City of Clarksville. Plaintiff filed suit against the City. The suit was dismissed because the trial court found that the “original complaint” under Tenn. Code Ann. § 20-1-119 was not filed within a year of the alleged injury. Plaintiff appealed. We reverse.

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Tort and Insurance Forum 2014

This year's Tort and Insurance Forum 2014 is just a week away and you do not want to miss this CLE! 

Topics include:

  • Technology,  The  Economy  &  Today’s  Practice 
  • Legislative  Update with Senator Doug Overbey
  • Ethics  Update  for  Tort  Lawyers

Have you registered for the CLE yet?  If not, click here to learn more about the CLE and to register today! 

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AG Urges Congressional Action on Data Breaches

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is urging Congress to require businesses to quickly alert consumers and law enforcement agencies of significant data breaches like those at Target and Neiman Marcus. In a video posted on the Justice Department's website, Holder said Congress should create a strong, national standard for notifying consumers whose information may have been compromised, empowering members of the public to protect themselves if they are at risk of identity theft. WSMV has more.

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Absence of Sale by Bar Frees it From Dramshop Liability, per Eastern Section

HEATHER WIDNER, ADMINISTRATRIX OF THE ESTATE OF GLENN EDWARD SMITH v. CHATTANOOGA ENTERTAINMENT, INC. d/b/a ELECTRIC COWBOY, ET AL.
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Michael E. Large, Bristol, Tennessee, for the appellant, Heather Widner, Administratrix of the Estate of Glenn Edward Smith.

Terrill L. Adkins, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Chattanooga Entertainment, Inc. d/b/a Electric Cowboy.

Judge: SWINEY

Heather Widner, Administratrix of the Estate of Glenn Edward Smith (“Plaintiff”) sued Chattanooga Entertainment, Inc. d/b/a Electric Cowboy (“Electric Cowboy”) and Ashley Langworthy with regard to the tragic death of Glenn Edward Smith (“Deceased”). Electric Cowboy filed a motion for summary judgment. After a hearing, the Trial Court granted Electric Cowboy summary judgment finding and holding, inter alia, that on the relevant night there had been no sale of alcoholic beverages pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. § 57-10-102 by Electric Cowboy to Ashley Langworthy. Plaintiff appeals to this Court raising issues regarding whether the Trial Court erred in granting Electric Cowboy summary judgment and whether the Trial Court erred in refusing to allow Plaintiff additional time for discovery. We find and hold, as did the Trial Court, that no sale of alcoholic beverages by Electric Cowboy to Ashley Langworthy occurred on the relevant night, and that the Trial Court did not abuse its discretion in refusing to allow further discovery. We, therefore, affirm.

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'Belts and Suspenders' Saves Plaintiff's Med Mal Case from Dismissal Following Law Change

DORIS CANNON EX REL. JUANITA E. GOOD v. BHASKAR REDDY, M.D.
Court: TN Supreme Court

Attorneys:

Brent Albert Kinney, Edward A. Hadley, and Phillip Lester North, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Bhaskar Reddy.

Olen G. Haynes, Johnson City, Tennessee, and Raymond Wilford Fraley Jr., Fayetteville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Doris Cannon.

Judge: HOLDER

The plaintiff filed a health care liability action against the defendant. During the pendency of her action, the General Assembly enacted the pre-suit notice and certificate of good faith requirements of Tennessee Code Annotated sections 29-26-121 and -122. The plaintiff voluntarily dismissed her original action. The plaintiff then filed two successive actions. First, the plaintiff filed a second action that did not comply with the pre-suit notice and certificate of good faith statutes. The plaintiff then filed a third action that complied with Tennessee Code Annotated sections 29-26-121 and -122. The plaintiff moved to consolidate her second and third actions, and the defendant moved to dismiss. The defendant contended that the plaintiff’s second action should be dismissed for failure to comply with the pre-suit notice and certificate of good faith requirements and that her third action should be dismissed based on the doctrine of prior suit pending. The trial court consolidated the lawsuits and denied the defendant’s motions to dismiss. The defendant moved for permission to file an interlocutory appeal, which the trial court denied. We granted the defendant’s application for extraordinary appeal pursuant to Rule 10 of the Tennessee Rules of Appellate Procedure. During the pendency of the appeal, the plaintiff voluntarily dismissed her second action. As a result of the plaintiff’s voluntary dismissal and our recent holding in Rajvongs v. Wright, ___ S.W.3d ___, 2013 WL 6504425 (Tenn. Dec. 12, 2013), we hold that the plaintiff, who properly provided pre-suit notice of her claim prior to filing her third action, was entitled to a 120-day extension in which to refile her complaint pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated section 29-26-121(c). The plaintiff’s third complaint was therefore timely filed. We affirm the judgment of the trial court and remand this case for further proceedings.

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If You Did It, Flaunt It With a TBJ Announcement

The Tennessee Bar Journal has a new opportunity for lawyers and firms to promote outstanding achievements, new associates, new partners, mergers, awards and any changes within the firm. Now, Professional Announcements are available at special, lower-rate pricing. You can tell more than 12,000 of your peers about your accomplishments by placing an announcement in the Journal. For information or to place an announcement, contact Debbie Taylor at 503-445-2231 or Debbie@llm.com. To have an announcement placed in the April issue, please contact her before Feb. 18.

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Nashville Meningitis Cases May Get First Trials

Nashville-area victims of the nationwide fungal meningitis outbreak would be the first to have their cases come to trial under a proposal being considered by a federal judge in Boston, the Tennessean reports. According to Boston attorney Kristen Johnson Parker, one or more cases brought by Tennessee victims could go to trial next year and serve as “bellwether” suits – a procedure used by the federal courts to speed the processing of multiple related lawsuits. It is not clear yet whether the trials would be held in Boston or in Tennessee, Parker said. Those involved in the cases say priority consideration for Tennessee victims is based on the large number of cases from the state.

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