Limitation of Actions

Discovery Rule

Except as indicated, all indented material is copied directly from the court’s opinion. 

Decisions of the Tennessee Supreme Court

Decisions of the Tennessee Court of Appeals

Archer v. Sodexo Operations, LLC, No. W2020-01176-COA-R9-CV, p. 7 (Tenn. Ct. App. May 25, 2022).

Although Sodexo Operations filed a motion to dismiss based on the statute of limitations, Plaintiff later submitted an affidavit that the court considered in resolving the motion. However, neither party suggests that this court should review the decision as one for summary judgment. This Court encountered the same situation in Woodruff by & through Cockrell v. Walker, 542 S.W.3d 486, 494 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2017), when reviewing a trial court’s ruling regarding the discovery rule. We said,

[I]t appears that the trial court may have considered materials other than the complaint in reaching its resolution. Regardless of whether we employ the standard of review applicable to motions to dismiss or motions for summary judgment, however, the facts that are material to the issues raised in this appeal are not in dispute, and we are only tasked with resolving issues of law. We therefore review the trial court’s decision de novo with no presumption of correctness. Myers, 382 S.W.3d at 307; see also Shockley v. Mental Health Coop., Inc., 429 S.W.3d 582, 589 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2013) (“Regardless of whether we review the case under the standard for Rule 12.02 motions or that for Rule 56 motions, the issue presents a question of law[.]”).

We made the same observation in Smith v. Hauck, 469 S.W.3d 564, 569 n.1 (Tenn. Ct.
App. 2015):

Regardless of whether the trial court’s order in this case should properly be reviewed as one granting a motion to dismiss or as an award of summary judgment, the trial court determined that St. Jude Medical was entitled to a judgment as a matter of law based on the court’s understanding of the discovery rule. The facts relevant to our disposition on appeal are not disputed, and our standard of review in this case is the same regardless of which motion was appropriate. See Rajvongs v. Wright, No. M2011-01889- COA-R9-CV, 2012 WL 2308563, at *3 n.3 (Tenn. Ct. App. June 18, 2012), aff’d, 432 S.W.3d 808 (Tenn. 2013).

We reach the same conclusion here.


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