News

Haslam Announces Dismissal of Clover Bottom Lawsuit, 22 Years Later

Gov. Bill Haslam announced today the dismissal of the Clover Bottom lawsuit, ending two decades of litigation and court oversight of intellectual disabilities services in the state, Humphrey on the Hill reports from a state Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities release. The case was first filed in 1995 over the conditions at three state development centers, including Clover Bottom in Nashville. U.S. District Chief Judge Waverly Crenshaw dismissed the case after he found that the state had complied with all conditions of a court approved plan to improve services and quality of life for citizens with disabilities. 
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Tennessee Congressional Delegation Calls for Change After ‘Unacceptable’ VA Hospital Report

Members of both parties from Tennessee’s Congressional delegation called for changes to be made to the Memphis VA Medical Center, after a report emerged about its poor conditions, The Tennessean reports. The VA’s internal ratings placed the Memphis location among the worst the in country, and documents show that medical care provided there resulted in unintended amputations, paralyzations and more. Both U.S. Rep. David Kustoff, R-Germantown, and Jim Cooper, D-Nashville, referred to the conditions as “malpractice,” and Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Memphis, called it “unacceptable.”
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Gubernatorial Candidates Differ on Medical Marijuana

The Tennessean reviewed the stances on medical marijuana of all declared candidates for the 2018 governor’s race, in light of recent news that the legislature has convened a task force on the issue. Democratic candidates Karl Dean and Craig Fitzhugh and Republican Beth Harwell all voiced varying amounts of support of the possibility, given that there were certain restrictions in place. Republican candidates Randy Boyd and Bill Lee stood in the middle, with Boyd calling for FDA testing and Lee stating the need for evaluation of a current state law allowing the non-smokable cannabidoil. Republicans Mae Beavers and Diane Black both stand in opposition, calling marijuana a “gateway drug.”
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TSC: HIPAA-compliant Authorization Not Required When Pre-Suit Notice Sent to Single Healthcare Provider

The Tennessee Supreme Court has ruled that a prospective plaintiff who provides pre-suit notice of a healthcare liability claim to a single healthcare provider is not required to provide a medical authorization compliant with HIPAA. In the case of Bray v. Khuri, Deborah Bray sent a pre-suit notice to Dr. Radwan R. Khuri advising him of a potential claim for the wrongful death of her husband, and she later filed suit. Khuri moved to dismiss on grounds that the medical authorization in the notice was not in compliance with HIPAA. The trial court and Court of Appeals granted Khuri’s motion, but in a unanimous opinion, the Tennessee Supreme Court reversed the lower court decisions.
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Tennessee AG Files Suit Against Network of Pain Management Clinics

Tennessee Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III has filed a lawsuit against a network of pain management clinics, alleging $7 million in fraudulent TennCare claims. The suit was filed in Williamson County Circuit Court against MMi Pain Clinics, owner Michael Kestner and business partner Dr. Lisabeth Williams, who operate 18 clinics across the state. According to the suit, the defendants regularly subjected patients to unnecessary medical procedures. Read the full complaint here.

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Tennessee AG Files Suit Against Network of Pain Management Clinics

Tennessee Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III has filed a lawsuit against a network of pain management clinics, alleging $7 million in fraudulent TennCare claims. The suit was filed in Williamson County Circuit Court against MMi Pain Clinics, owner Michael Kestner and business partner Dr. Lisabeth Williams, who operate 18 clinics across the state. According to the suit, the defendants regularly subjected patients to unnecessary medical procedures. Read the full complaint here.

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ASAE Opposes Tennessee Bill Aimed at Association Codes of Ethics

The American Society of Association Executives has released a statement against a Tennessee bill that would require state licensing boards to create unique ethics rules for each profession, thus undermining ethical codes established by professional associations. “This bill potentially puts additional unnecessary burdens on all state licensed professionals in Tennessee, and may cause Tennessee professionals to be out of compliance with nationally recognized standards for their vocation,” the organization wrote in a letter to Gov. Bill Haslam on April 19. The bill was created to allow mental health counselors and therapists to disregard sections of the American Counseling Association’s Code of Ethics in order to deny services to LGBT individuals. ASAE argues that the legislation gives "rise to state sanctioned discrimination."
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Senate Approves Drug Sharing Program

The Tennessee Senate unanimously approved a bill that would create a prescription drug-share program that would allow donations of packaged cancer drugs, the Tennessean reports. The bill would not allow opioids as a part of the program. If passed, nonprofit organizations would be allowed to donate and redistribute prescription drugs, still in their packaging, to people who don’t have insurance.
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Harwell Launches Opioid Taskforce

A new legislative task force will tackle Tennessee’s growing opioid and painkiller abuse crisis, the Tennessean reports. House Speaker Beth Harwell, R-Nashville, formed the task force to identify strategies to address addition, abuse and misuse of illegal and prescription drugs. The bi-partisan group will be chaired by Rep. Curtis Johnson, R-Clarksville.
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5 Lawyers Recognized for Service During Bar Year

Awards presented at TBA Convention in Memphis

NASHVILLE, June 29, 2015 – The Tennessee Bar Association (TBA) recognized five lawyers who provided especially distinguished service to the legal community during the past year. Each was recognized by then President Jonathan Steen.

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Paine Column on Thornton Trial, Judge Cotton's Book Reviewed

This issue includes another one of the late Don Paine's final "Paine on Procedure" columns. This month is "Law Student Kills Medical Student: The Trial of James Clark Thornton." Also in February, Chancellor Andrew Tillman reviews Judge James L. Cotton's new book, The Greatest Speech Ever: The Remarkable Story of Abraham Lincoln and His Gettysburg Address. The book includes a foreword by former Sen. Howard Baker Jr.

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New TBJ Features Update on Med Mal

In the November issue, out today, the Tennessee Bar Journal looks at the Tennessee Medical Malpractice Act five years after two important statutes were enacted. Clinton L. Kelly writes about how the appellate courts have interpreted the notice statue and the certificate of good faith law. Also, don't miss words of wisdom from the students of the Law Launch Project, such as: "A group of people thrown into a pit of hell together will either kill each other or band together to fight the evil forces. I think in law school it happens both ways."

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Legal Battle May be Brewing Over Malpractice Caps

Legal opposition to the Tennessee Civil Justice Act of 2011 has been filed in federal court, arguing that Gov. Bill Haslam’s landmark tort law is unconstitutional The Tennessean reports. Nashville lawyer David Randolph Smith, who led the legal fight against the guns-in-bars law and the English-only ballot measure in the state, filed the suit. Federal Judge Kevin H. Sharp could either rule on the issue or send the question to the state Supreme Court.

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