FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 30, 2022
Contact: Eric W. Boyer, Esq.
305.670.1101 Ext. 1023
TENNESSEE COURT OF APPEALS DISMISSES WRONGFUL DEATH CASE
GOVERNED BY HEALTHCARE LIABILITY ACT
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. ― Whitney Horak and Minton P. Mayer attorneys in the Nashville and Memphis offices of Quintairos, Prieto, Wood &Boyer, P.A., sought the reversal of the trial court’s denial of a motion to dismiss. The Tennessee Court of Appeals agreed and remanded the case back to circuit court for the entry of a dismissal with prejudice. Plaintiff made claims for wrongful death, abuse, neglect and punitive damages and was seeking $15 million in damages under the healthcare liability act related to a former nursing home resident. Plaintiff’s counsel failed to attach a customary certificate of good faith to the Complaint as required by Tennessee statute. Instead, Plaintiff’s counsel attached a letter of merit written by a nurse practitioner stating there was a good faith basis to assert a breach in the standard of care. Defense counsel argued the letter did not satisfy the statutory good faith certificate requirements. The trial court denied Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss and denied Defendants’ Motion to seek Interlocutory Appeal. Defense counsel sought a Rule 10 Extraordinary Appeal that was granted by the Tennessee Court of Appeals. On appeal, counsel argued that the letter attached to the Complaint did not satisfy statutory requirements because it did not show that Plaintiff had consulted an expert who could support the causation element of the claim. The Court of Appeals agreed, reversed the trial court’s order, and remanded the case for entry of summary judgment in QPWB’s client’s favor.
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Whitney Horak is an associate in the Memphis, Tennessee office of Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A., and also practices from the firm’s Jackson, Mississippi office. She focuses her practice on the representation of physicians, hospitals and long-term care providers in medical malpractice matters involving claims of abuse and neglect, negligence, violation of resident’s rights, wrongful death and breach of contract; her practice also includes the defense of general negligence claims, catastrophic personal injury and property damage cases. Ms. Horak is a certified professional in health care risk management (CPHRM). She received her Juris Doctor cum laude in 2013 from the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law and is licensed to practice law in Tennessee and Mississippi.
Minton P. Mayer is co-managing partner of QPWB’s Memphis and Nashville Tennessee offices. He concentrates his practice on the representation of long-term care providers, assisted living facilities, health care providers, hospitals, nurse staffing, home health agencies and skilled nursing facilities. He has defended civil litigation cases throughout Tennessee including premises liability, product liability, automobile and insurance coverage. He is also a listed Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31 General Civil Mediator. Mr. Mayer has attained the highest Peer Review Rating™ of AV® Preeminent from Martindale-Hubbell Legal Directory. He received his Juris Doctor in 1996 from the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law and is licensed to practice law in Tennessee and Arkansas.
QPWB is the largest minority and woman owned law firm in the nation.