Tennessee product liability lawsuit dismissed due to missed deadline

by Mandy Hicks

If you believe that you have a claim for personal injuries or for a loved one’s wrongful death, you should speak to an attorney about your case as soon as possible. This is because there is a limited time for filing both injury and death cases. This Tennessee product liability lawsuit case is a reminder that the statute of limitations isn’t flexible.

The statute of limitations prescribes the exact time period for bringing a claim, such as a negligence action arising from a motor vehicle collision, an act of medical malpractice, or an injury from a defective product. There may also be an applicable statute of repose that places additional constraints on the time for filing suit, based on factors such as, for example, the date an allegedly defective product was manufactured.

The Facts of the Case

In the recent case of Greenwood v. National Dentex Corporation, the plaintiff was a woman who filed suit against the defendant, who allegedly fabricated dentures for her in 2007. She later added the original defendant’s parent company as a party defendant. Shortly before the case was to go to trial, the plaintiff filed a notice of non-suit.

One year after the trial court entered the order of non-suit on the original case, the plaintiff refiled her case against both defendants. Although the second complaint was served on the attorney who represented the defendants in the first case, it was not served on the actual defendants. Again, the woman filed a notice of non-suit on her case, and the trial court dismissed the action.

Later, the woman filed a third case against the defendants. The defendants moved for dismissal on the grounds that the plaintiff’s claims were barred by the statute of limitations and the statute of repose. The trial court agreed and dismissed the case. The plaintiff appealed.

The Appellate Court’s Decision

The court affirmed the trial court’s dismissal of the plaintiff’s claim as untimely. Although the plaintiff argued that the Tennessee saving statute operated to extend the time for the filing of her claim, based upon her non-suits, the court concluded that the plaintiff’s claim was not saved because her third complaint was filed outside the one-year saving period and after the statute of limitations had expired.

The court noted that the trial court had expressed an opinion to the effect that the plaintiff’s case was not saved because her second complaint was not properly served on the defendants but found that, given the date of the third complaint, the question of whether or not the second complaint was properly served was irrelevant.

Talk to a Tennessee and Kentucky Product Liability Law Firm

It is not at all uncommon for a patient to be injured by a defective drug or medical device. If you have been hurt because of a defective product, the experienced Tennessee product liability lawyers at English, Lucas, Priest & Owsley are here for you. Call us at (270) 781-6500 and ask for a free consultation at our Bowling Green offices today. We represent injured people throughout south central Kentucky, middle Tennessee, and the surrounding areas.

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