HANNAH TURNER EX REL. LIAM TURNER
CHARLES MICHAEL HOWE, ET AL.
Session Date: October 11, 2016
from the Circuit Court for Marion County No. 20928 Justin C.
appeal involves in personam jurisdiction over the
Appellees, Georgia and Alabama corporations. The trial court
granted Appellees' Tennessee Rule of Civil Procedure
12.02(2) motions to dismiss for lack of personal
jurisdiction. Appellants appeal. Discerning no error, we
affirm and remand.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit
Bernard Berke, Jeremy Matthew Cothern, and A. Emma Flynn,
Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellants, Hannah Turner and
Frederick Exum, III, Franklin Pearson Clark, Mary C. DeCamp,
and Thomas A. Williams, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the
appellee, North Jackson Pharmacy; Alaric A. Henry and Thomas
Mitchell Horne, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellee,
Armstrong, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which
Frank G. Clement, Jr., P.J., M.S., and Andy D. Bennett, J.,
27, 2015, Hannah Turner, individually, and as next friend and
mother of the minor child, Liam Turner (together,
"Appellants"), filed suit against Charles Howe,
M.D., SP Acquisition Corporation d/b/a Grandview Medical
Center ("Grandview"), PHL, Inc. d/b/a The Drug
Store ("PHL, " and together with Dr. Howe and
Grandview, the "Tennessee Defendants"), Ponder
Pharmacy ("Ponder"), and North Jackson Pharmacy,
("NJP, " and together with Ponder,
"Appellees"). Ponder is a Georgia Corporation; NJP
is an Alabama Corporation. The amended complaint alleged that
the Tennessee Defendants and the Appellees had engaged in a
civil conspiracy to overprescribe addictive pain medications
to Ms. Turner both before and during her pregnancy with Liam.
Appellants asserted causes of action for civil conspiracy,
healthcare liability, and negligence.
the Tennessee Defendants, on April 11, 2016, the trial court
entered an order purporting to be a final order as to these
parties. However, on review of the record, this Court
determined that, although the trial court certified the April
11, 2016 order as a final judgment pursuant to Rule 54.02 of
the Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure, the order was
improvidently certified as final. Accordingly, on October 31,
2016, this Court entered an order dismissing the appeal as to
the Tennessee Defendants. Specifically, our order states that
the trial court's order of April 11, 2016 only disposed
of the Plaintiffs'/Appellants' conspiracy claim and
did not adjudicate any other claims, as set forth in the
Amended Complaint filed in the trial court on May 27, 2015.
Thus, the order appealed as to Defendants/Appellees Charles
Michael Howe, M.D., S.P. Acquisition Corp. d/b/a Grandview
Medical Center, and PHL, Inc. d/b/a The Drug Store, is not a
final judgment, and the appeal as to those parties is hereby
dismissed Appellants' appeal as to the Tennessee
Defendants, this opinion will address only those issues
relating to Ponder and NJP, the sole remaining Appellees in
about July 10, 2015, by special appearance, Ponder filed a
Tennessee Rule of Civil Procedure 12.02 motion to dismiss the
amended complaint. As grounds for its motion, Ponder alleged
that the trial court lacked personal jurisdiction and that
Appellants had failed to state a claim. On August 5, 2015,
NJP filed a Tennessee Rule of Civil Procedure 12.02 motion to
dismiss, which incorporated Ponder's memorandum filed in
support of its Rule 12.02 motion, alleging lack of personal
jurisdiction. However, unlike Ponder's motion to dismiss,
NJP's motion did not specify that it was making a special
trial court heard the Appellees' motions to dismiss on
October 5, 2016. At the close of proof, the trial court
orally granted Appellees' respective motions to dismiss
based on a lack of in personam jurisdiction. On
November 5, 2015, Appellants filed an objection to the orders
submitted by Ponder and NJP regarding the trial court's
grant of their respective motions to dismiss, along with
Appellants' own proposed order. On November 16, 2015,
Ponder filed an objection to Appellants' proposed order.
The trial court erroneously signed and entered all of the
proposed orders. In response to the entry of the three
competing orders, on December 7, 2015, Appellants filed a
"Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure 59 and 60 Motion to
Alter or Amend, " wherein they stated, in relevant part,
1. Plaintiffs and Defendant [N]P] filed competing orders
regarding [N]P's] motion to dismiss.
2. This Court entered Plaintiffs' Order on November 19,
2015 and this Order covered both [N]P] and . . .
[Ponder's] motions to dismiss. [This order was filed on
November 23, 2015, see supra]
4. There was a clerical error in that [Ponder's]
competing order was also signed.
5. On November 24, 2015, at a hearing to resolve the
competing orders issue, this court held orally that
Plaintiffs' order was to constitute the order of this
12. Plaintiffs, therefore, request for this court to
establish the controlling order of this Court by adopting the
order submitted by Plaintiffs as the controlling order.
December 18, 2015, NJP filed a response to Appellants'
motion to alter or amend, asking the trial court to adopt its
order as the final order of the court. Following a hearing on
November 24, 2015, the trial court entered an order on
December 29, 2015, wherein it stated, in relevant part, that:
[M]ultiple orders were inadvertently signed and entered with
the orders granting [Ponder] and [N]P's] motions to
dismiss. This Court, upon a review of the file as a whole,
including the herein identified orders, and argument of
counsel, finds that Plaintiffs' submitted order granting
Defendants' Motions to Dismiss shall constitute the Order
of this Court and the Defendants' submitted Orders must
submitted order" is the "Order Granting Defendants
Ponder Pharmacy and North Jackson Pharmacy's Tennessee
Rule of Civil Procedure 12 Motions to Dismiss, " which
was entered on November 23, 2015. This order incorporates, by
reference, "pages 52 through 56 of the transcript."
In these ...