Health Care Liability

Pre-suit Notice Requirement

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

Opinions of the Tennessee Supreme Court


Martin v. Rolling Hills Hospital, LLC, No. M2016-02214-SC-R11-CV (April 29, 2020)

The Defendants filed motions to dismiss under Rule 12.02(6) of the Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure, arguing that the lawsuit is time-barred by the one-year statute of limitations because the savings statute does not apply. A Rule 12.02(6) motion is an appropriate means of invoking the statute of limitations as a ground for dismissing a complaint. Redwing v. Catholic Bishop for Diocese of Memphis, 363 S.W.3d 436, 455 n.11 (Tenn. 2012). The Defendants’ statute of limitations argument is also premised on the assertion that the Plaintiffs’ first lawsuit was not timely filed because the Plaintiffs failed to provide pre-suit notice substantially compliant with Section 121. Rule 12.02(6) is the proper vehicle for challenging a plaintiff’s compliance with the pre-suit notice requirements of Section 121. Myers, 382 S.W.3d at 307. However, because the Defendants submitted matters outside the pleadings in support of their 12.02(6) motions, the motions “shall be treated as [motions] for summary judgment . . . .” Tenn. R. Civ. P. 12.02; see Runions v. Jackson-Madison Cnty. Gen. Hosp. Dist., 549 S.W.3d 77, 81 n.5 (Tenn. 2018). Summary judgment is appropriate when “the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.” Tenn. R. Civ. P. 56.04. We review a trial court’s decision on a motion for summary judgment de novo without a presumption of correctness. Rye v. Women’s Care Ctr. of Memphis, MPLLC, 477 S.W.3d 235, 250 (Tenn. 2015) (citing Bain v. Wells, 936 S.W.2d 618, 622 (Tenn. 1997)).


Tennessee Court of Appeals


Denson v. Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge, No. E2023-00027-COA-R9-CV, p. 5 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 12, 2023). 

The Tennessee Supreme Court has held that Rule 12.02(6) of the Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure is the proper mechanism to challenge a plaintiff’s compliance with Tennessee Code Annotated section 29-26-121. Myers v. Amisub (SFH), Inc., 382 S.W.3d 300, 307 (Tenn. 2012). This Court reviews such questions of law de novo, with no presumption of correctness. Id. (citing Graham v. Caples, 325 S.W.3d 578, 581 (Tenn. 2010)). The same standard of review applies to issues of standing and interpretation of statutes. Blackburn v. Blackburn, 270 S.W.3d 42, 47 (Tenn. 2008); State v. Crank, 468 S.W.3d 15, 21 (Tenn. 2015). “When the statutory language is clear and unambiguous, we must apply its plain meaning in its normal and accepted use, without a forced interpretation that would limit or expand the statute’s application.” Eastman Chemical Co. v. Johnson, 151 S.W.3d 503, 507 (Tenn. 2004).



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