TBA Law Blog

Posted by: Amelia Ferrell Knisely on Oct 26, 2015

The Tennessee Supreme Court returned to a summary judgment standard consistent with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure in an opinion released today in a Memphis health care liability case. The Court’s ruling in Michelle Rye v. Women's Care Center of Memphis holds that when a party moves for summary judgment, its burden can be satisfied by either negating an essential element of the other party’s claim or by demonstrating that the other party’s evidence at the summary judgment stage is insufficient to establish that party’s claim or defense. Justice Gary R. Wade authored a dissenting opinion, concluding the summary judgment standard applied during the last two decades in Tennessee -- based on the 2008 judgment in Hannan v. Alltel Publishing Co. -- is preferable to the federal standard.