Where there was a question of fact regarding when plaintiff was put on notice of his potential HCLA claim, and plaintiff provided an expert affidavit in support of his claims, summary judgment based on the statute of limitations and a lack of proof on causation and damages was reversed.
In Vilas v. Love, No. W2022-01071-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 26, 2023), plaintiff had his appendix removed by defendant surgeon. At a follow up appointment on March 27, 2017, plaintiff was given a pathology report that stated that “no intact vermiform appendix is identified.” There was a disagreement between plaintiff and defendant regarding what defendant told plaintiff at the follow up appointment. Two weeks after the follow up appointment, plaintiff began experiencing pain and went to another hospital, where they discovered that his appendix had not been removed in the first surgery.
Plaintiff sent pre-suit notice of his HCLA claim to defendant on March 1, 2018, and filed his complaint on August 6, 2018. Defendant moved for summary judgment, which the trial court granted on two grounds. The trial court ruled that the claim was barred by the statute of limitations and that plaintiff had not provided sufficient proof of causation or damages. On appeal, the trial court’s rulings were reversed in part, vacated in part, and the case was remanded.