Tennessee Defense

Lawyers Association


Bidwell v. Strait: The Onus is no Longer on the Plaintiff Alone to Correctly Identify All Potential Defendants to a Health Care Liability Action?

  • 29 Jan 2020
  • 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
  • Webinar

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In this upcoming webinar, Drew Reynolds with Spears, Moore, Rebman & Williams (co-chair of the Professional Negligence and Healthcare Section of the TDLA) will discuss the Court of Appeals’ opinion in Bidwell v. Strait, No. E2018-02211-COA-R3-CV, 2019 WL 4464815 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 18, 2019), which appears to be the first appellate opinion to address the “notice back” provision set forth in Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-26-121(a)(5). Among other things, Bidwell holds that the onus is no longer solely on the claimant to identify all necessary parties to a health care liability action; rather, based on § 29-26-121(a)(5), a defendant may not withhold the identity of a known or necessary person, entity, or health care provider who may be a properly named defendant.

Bidwell involved issues relating to the Governmental Tort Liability Act that will not arise in most health care liability actions. Nevertheless, the plaintiffs’ bar may seize on certain language from Bidwell to argue that defendants must provide written notice of any persons, entities, or health care providers who may be properly named defendants within 30 days of receiving pre-suit notice in all health care liability actions, which could lead to plaintiffs filing health care liability actions against one health care provider and relying on that health care provider to identify other health care providers who may be properly named defendants.

Based on the holding of Bidwell, the scope of the obligation imposed on health care provider defendants is not entirely clear. Accordingly, this webinar will analyze Bidwell, examine questions arising out of the Court of Appeals’ opinion, and present some arguments that may be used in the event the Tennessee Supreme Court accepts the defendants’ application for permission to appeal. For example, what is the scope of the obligation imposed by Bidwell, and how can health care provider defendants comply with this obligation? Will the obligation imposed by Bidwell apply to the same extent if a defendant withholds the identity of a health care provider that is not a known or necessary party? Please join us on January 29, 2020, for a webinar exploring these issues.

This is a FREE webinar for TDLA members! Registrants will receive a webinar link prior to the webinar. Webinar will last one hour starting at 1pm EST/ Noon CST. This webinar will be submitted for one hour of TN general CLE.

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