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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Mar 10, 2015

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Jeffrey M. Ward, Greeneville, Tennessee, for the appellants, George Testerman, M.D. and Medical Education Assistance Corporation.

Attorneys 2:

Andrew T. Wampler and Russel W. Adkins, Kingsport, Tennessee, for the appellants, Wellmont Holston Valley Medical Center, Wellmont Physicians Services, and Wellmont Medical Associates.

Richard E. Ladd, Jr. and Holly N. Mancl, Bristol, Tennessee, for the appellant, Advanced Home Care, Inc.

Larry V. Roberts and Wesley A. Mink, Johnson City, Tennessee, for the appellee, Dennis Smith.

Judge(s): MCCLARTY

This is a case alleging negligence by the defendants which resulted in injury to a patient, Dennis Smith. Following hernia surgery, Mr. Smith was fitted for a wound vacuum because an infection had developed at the surgical site. A sponge was placed to absorb the infection. The defendants removed the wound vacuum when the infection dissipated, but they failed to remove the sponge, which later caused the wound to burst. Mr. Smith filed suit, and the defendants asserted that dismissal was appropriate because Mr. Smith had not complied with the filing requirements of the health care liability statute. Mr. Smith responded that his complaint sounded in ordinary negligence, not health care liability. The trial court agreed and denied the motions but also granted permission for the defendants to pursue an interlocutory appeal. We granted the application for permission to appeal and now reverse the decision of the trial court.