Tort and Insurance Law Section

This section provides a venue for attorneys to share views and to develop relationships with colleagues in this area of practice. The section offers CLE on issues impacting both tort and insurance law and sends out case updates to its members.

Chair
Liberty Mutual Group Inc.
Gateway Plz 1 5409 Maryland Way #212
Brentwood, TN 37027
(615)986-7700
Immediate Past Chair
Farmers Insurance Exchange and...
6 Cadillac Dr., Suite 260
Brentwood, TN 37027
(615)370-7002

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. Obituary and 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.

.PDF Version of Case

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