TBA Law Blog


Posted by: Kreis White & Christy Gibson on Nov 27, 2013

CHRISTINE STEVENS EX REL. MARK STEVENS v. HICKMAN COMMUNITY HEALTH CARE SERVICES, INC. ET AL.
With dissenting opinion.
Court: TN Supreme Court

Attorneys:

Joshua L. Hunter and Kara Beth Hunter, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Estate of Halford Whitaker, M.D.

C. Bennett Harrison, Jr. and Brian W. Holmes, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Hickman Community Health Care Services, Inc. d/b/a Hickman Community Hospital.

Richard D. Piliponis and Michael Reed Griffin, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Christine Stevens, Next of Kin of Mark Stevens, deceased, and on behalf of the wrongful death beneficiaries of Mark Stevens.

Judge: LEE

More than sixty days before filing suit, the plaintiff gave written notice to the potential defendants of her healthcare liability claim against them. Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-26- 121(a)(2)(E) (2012) requires that a plaintiff’s pre-suit notice include a HIPAA compliant medical authorization that permits the healthcare provider receiving the notice to obtain complete medical records from every other provider that is being sent a notice. Contrary to the statute, the plaintiff provided a non-HIPAA compliant medical authorization that only permitted the release of medical records to plaintiff’s counsel. After the plaintiff filed suit, the defendants moved to dismiss the complaint based on noncompliance with Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-26-121(a)(2)(E). The trial court denied the motion, ruling that plaintiff’s noncompliance was excused by extraordinary cause. We hold that the plaintiff was required to substantially comply with Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-26-121(a)(2)(E) and failed to do so, and that her failure to comply is not excused by extraordinary cause. We dismiss the plaintiff’s case without prejudice.

.PDF Version of Case

Dissenting Opinion

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