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Statutes of Limitations (TENNESSEE)

Personal Injury - 1 yr.[T.C.A. § 28-3-104]

Wrongful Death - 1 yr. [T.C.A. § 28-3-104]

Med Mal - 1 yr. from discovery, but within 3 yrs. of act/omission [T.C.A. § 29-26-116]

Property Damage - 3 yrs [T.C.A. § 28-3-105]

Product Liability (Personal Injury) - 1 yr. [T.C.A. § 28-3-104] (the cause of action for injury to the person shall accrue on the date of the personal injury, not the date of the negligence or the sale of a product).

Contracts (Written and Oral) - 6 yrs [T.C.A. § 28-3-109]

Contracts for Sale (goods) and Breach of Warranty - 4 yrs (from tender of delivery) [T.C.A. §47-2-725]


Under the discovery rule, a cause of action accrues when the plaintiff knows or in the exercise of reasonable care and diligence should know that an injury has been sustained as a result of wrongful or tortious conduct by the defendant [John Kohl & Co. P.C. v. Dearborn & Ewing, 977 S.W.2d 528 (Tenn. 1998)]




Statutes of Repose (TENNESSEE)

Products - 6 yrs. from injury OR 10 yrs from first purchase OR 1 yr. after expiration of anticipated life of the product, whichever comes first [T.C.A. § 29-28-103]

Construction of Real Property - 4 yrs. (or 1 yr from injury if injury occurred during 4th year) [T.C.A. §§ 28-3-202; 28-3-203]




Claims Against Public/Gov. Entities (NOTE: “Sovereign Immunity” Limitations May Apply) (TENNESSEE)

State is immune from lawsuits [T.C.A. §20-13-102]

Against Municipal Corp. (on account of negligent condition of streets/alleys/sidewalks/highways) - Notice within 120 days [T.C.A. § 29-20-304]

Suit Against Gov. Entity - Within 12 mos. [T.C.A. § 29-20-305]




Comparative Negligence (TENNESSEE)

Modified comparative (damages are diminished in proportion to Plaintiff’s fault, but Plaintiff cannot recover if he is 50% at fault) [McIntyre v. Balentine, 833 S.W.2d 52 (Tenn. 1992)]




Made Whole Doctrine (MWD) (TENNESSEE)

Strictly applied, cannot be “contracted around.”  Under general equitable principles, Insured must be made whole before subrogation rights arise in favor of Insurer [Wimberly v. American Cas. Co. of Reading, Pa. (CNA), 584 S.W.2d 200 (Tenn. 1979)].  Insurer may not receive reimbursement for medical expenses made on behalf of Insured when Insured has not been made whole for his losses, even where a right of reimbursement provision is contained in the insurance policy [York v. Sevier County Ambulance Authority, 8 S.W.3d 616 (Tenn. 1999)].  MWD, under which Insurer has no right to reimbursement until Insured is made whole, applies regardless of the language found in the insurance contract; whether Insured has been made whole is a matter of fact, upon which Insured has the burden of proof [Abbott v. Blount County, 207 S.W.3d 732 (Tenn. 2006)]




Economic Loss Doctrine (ELD) (Assuming No Injury to Person or Damage to “Other Property”) (TENNESSEE)

Recognized/applied.  ELD, which provides that the rights and obligations of a buyer and seller are governed exclusively by contract where the only damages alleged come under the heading of economic losses, draws the line between tort and warranty by barring recovery for economic losses in tort actions [Trinity Industries, Inc. v. McKinnon Bridge Co., Inc., 77 S.W.3d 159 (Tenn. App. 2001)].  ELD precluded bus owner’s insurer from recovering damages in tort against engine manufacturer for damage to the bus due to defect in engine that caused it to catch fire; a consumer does not have an action in tort for economic damages under strict liability [Lincoln General Ins. Co. v. Detroit Diesel Corp., 293 S.W.3d 487 (Tenn. 2009)]




Certificate/Affidavit Of Merit Requirements (Claims Against Licensed Professionals) (TENNESSEE)

In any Med Mal liability action in which expert testimony is required, Plaintiff must file a certificate of good faith [T.C.A. § 29-26-122]




Landlord/Tenant Subrogation (TENNESSEE)

No subrogation allowed, “Sutton Rules” applies.  Absent an express agreement to the contrary, Tenant should be considered a co-insured under Landlord’s policy [Dattel Family Ltd. Partnership v. Wintz, 250 S.W.3d 883 (Tenn. App. 2007)]




Reimbursement of Deductible(s) (TENNESSEE)

No law available.





Med Pay - Subrogation allowed.  PIP - No subrogation allowed and/or no such coverage available.




Liability of Parents (TENNESSEE)

$10,000 for malicious or willful acts [T.C.A. § 37-10-101]. Any negligence or willful misconduct or violation of any motor vehicle law by a minor is imputed to the person who has signed the application for minor’s permit/license [T.C.A. § 55-50-312]




Joint Liability (TENNESSEE)

In general, several liability (Plaintiff can recover from each Defendant only that Defendant’s share of liability) [Banks v. Elks Club Pride of Tenn. 1102, 301 S.W.3d 214 (Tenn. 2010)].  However, when an intentional actor and a negligent actor are both named Defendants, the intentional misconduct was a foreseeable risk created by the negligent Defendant, and each are found to be responsible for Plaintiff’s injuries, then each Defendant is jointly and severally responsible for Plaintiff's total damages [Limbaugh v. Coffee Med. Ctr., 59 S.W.3d 73 (Tenn. 2001)].




Independent Cause of Action for Evidence Spoliation (TENNESSEE)

Not addressed/recognized.




Conflicts of Law (TENNESSEE)

Torts - Court will apply the law of the state where the injury occurred unless, with respect to a particular issue, some other state has more significant relationship to the occurrence/parties [Hataway v. McKinley, 830 S.W.2d 53 (Tenn. 1992)].  Contracts - Contract is presumed to be governed by the law of the jurisdiction in which it was executed, absent contrary intent [Messer Griesheim Indus. v. Cryotech of Kingsport, Inc., 131 S.W.3d 457 (Tenn. App. 2003)].




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