Tennessee Supreme Court To Hear Oral Arguments For May 2024 Docket In Nashville

The Tennessee Supreme Court will hear three cases in Nashville, Tennessee, beginning at 9:00 a.m. CDT. The details of the cases are as follows:

  • Clayton D. Richards v. Vanderbilt University Medical Center – On December 12, 2014, Plaintiff-Appellant Clayton Richards filed a healthcare liability action against Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) related to a procedure that was performed on August 15, 2013, with inpatient care following until Mr. Richards was discharged to an inpatient rehabilitation facility on August 29, 2013. The complaint was timely under the applicable one-year statute of limitations combined with the 120-day extension following pre-suit notice. Mr. Richards voluntarily dismissed the action on October 4, 2019. He then filed the instant action on January 28, 2021, relying on the one-year saving statute in Tenn. Code Ann. § 28-1-105 and again relying on the 120-day extension in Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-26-121(c). The trial court granted VUMC’s motion to dismiss, finding that Mr. Richards could not rely on the statutory 120-day extension a second time. The Court of Appeals affirmed. The Tennessee Supreme Court granted review to determine whether the 120-day extension provided in Tennessee Code Annotated section 29-26-121(c) extends the refiling period in the saving statute for a plaintiff who provided presuit notice prior to filing the initial complaint.

  • Charles Youree, Jr. v. Recovery House of East Tennessee, LLC, et al. – In 2019, the Plaintiff-Appellant, Charles Youree, Jr., filed a lawsuit against Recovery Solutions Network, LLC (RSN) for breach of a commercial lease agreement. Mr. Youree obtained a default judgment against RSN for $50,000. After RSN failed the pay the judgment, Mr.Youree filed a lawsuit against the Defendant-Appellees, Recovery House of East Tennessee, LLC and RHT Holdings, LLC, seeking to pierce the corporate veil and hold the Defendants-Appellees liable for the default judgment against RSN. After a default judgment was entered against the Defendants-Appellees, they motioned to have the judgment set aside on the basis that the complaint failed to allege sufficient facts to state a claim for piercing the corporate veil. The trial court denied the motion to set aside, and the Defendants-Appellees appealed. The Court of Appeals reversed, finding that the second default judgment was not properly granted because the complaint failed to allege sufficient facts to articulate a claim for piercing the corporate veil to hold Defendants-Appellees liable for RSN’s debt. The Tennessee Supreme Court granted the application for permission to appeal to determine: (1) whether a defaulting a defaulting party may have a default judgment set aside when it concedes that it cannot show excusable neglect for failing to respond to the complaint, and (2) whether the trial court abused its discretion in ruling that the complaint stated a claim for relief sufficient to pierce the corporate veil.

  • Emergency Medical Care Facilities, P.C. v. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, Inc., et al. – In August 2014, Plaintiff Emergency Medical Care Facilities (EMCF) brought its first putative class action against Defendants BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee (BCBS) and Volunteer State Health Plan, Inc. (VSHP) in the Madison County Circuit Court. After a formal class-certification hearing, the Circuit Court denied EMCF’s motion for class certification. EMCF appealed, and the Court of Appeals affirmed. On remand, the trial court permitted EMCF to voluntarily dismiss its claims without prejudice. EMCF refiled its putative class action against BCBS and VSHP in Davidson County Chancery Court. The Chancery Court dismissed the claims on the basis that the doctrine of collateral estoppel barred EMCF from relitigating the class certification issue. On appeal, the Court of Appeals reversed the Chancery Court’s judgment and held that collateral estoppel does not apply because EMCF ultimately nonsuited its claims in the prior action on remand before any final judgment was entered, vitiating the interlocutory class-certification holding for collateral-estoppel purposes. The Tennessee Supreme Court granted the Defendants’ application for permission to appeal to determine whether collateral estoppel bars a plaintiff from refiling a putative class action if the plaintiff’s motion for class certification was previously denied in the trial court and affirmed on appeal prior to the plaintiff’s voluntary nonsuit.

Media members planning to attend oral arguments should review Supreme Court Rule 30 and file any required requests.