SANDI D. JACKSON v. HCA HEALTH SERVICES OF TENNESSEE, INC., D/B/A CENTENNIAL MEDICAL CENTER ET AL. - Articles

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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Apr 23, 2012

Head Comment: CORRECTION: On page one of the opinion, C. J. Gideon, Jr. has been added as counsel for appellees.

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Phillip L. Davidson, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Sandi D. Jackson.

Attorneys 2:

C. J. Gideon, Jr., Dixie W. Cooper, and Brian P. Manookian, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, HCA Health Services of Tennessee, Inc., d/b/a Centennial Medical Center and d/b/a/ Hendersonville Medical Center.

Phillip North, J. Eric Miles and Lauren Smith, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Joseph Magoun, M.D., Claude L. Ferrell, L.D., Jonathan Grooms, CRNA, Anesthesia Medical Group, P.C., Louis Brusting, III, M.D., and the Heart and Vascular Team, P.L.L.C.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Joseph F. Whalen, Associate Solicitor General; and Stephanie A. Bergmeyer, Assistant Attorney General, for the intervenor, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): CLEMENT

This appeal arises from the dismissal of a medical malpractice action due to the plaintiff’s failure to provide a certificate of good faith. All defendants filed Tennessee Rule of Civil Procedure 12.02(6) motions to dismiss the medical malpractice action based upon Tennessee Code Annotated § 29-26-122(a), which provides: “If the certificate is not filed with the complaint, the complaint shall be dismissed, as provided in subsection (c), absent a showing that the failure was due to the failure of the provider to timely provide copies of the claimant’s records requested as provided in § 29-26-121 or demonstrated extraordinary cause.” Because the plaintiff failed to make a showing that the omission was due to the failure of any healthcare provider to provide records or demonstrate extraordinary cause, the trial court granted the motions and dismissed the case. The plaintiff asserts on appeal that the statutory requirement violates the separation of powers clause and that it violates the due process and equal protection guarantees of the constitution of Tennessee by treating plaintiffs in suits for medical negligence differently from plaintiffs in other civil litigation and by allegedly restricting access to the courts. Finding no constitutional infirmities, we affirm.