Session March 24, 2017
from the Circuit Court for Hamilton County No. 14-C-1100 W.
Jeffrey Hollingsworth, Judge
an invasion of privacy case filed by Betty Graham. It arises
out of disclosures made by the defendants in an underlying
health care liability action. In the underlying case, the
defendants moved to dismiss Graham's case on the ground
that she (1) had failed to file a statutory-mandated pre-suit
notice and (2) had failed to file with her complaint a
certificate of good faith, all as required by the Health Care
Liability Act (the Act). Graham claims that she could not
comply with the Act because the defendants failed to provide
her with the relevant medical records. To demonstrate that
they had complied or attempted to comply with Graham's
requests for records, the defendants filed in the earlier
case two affidavits detailing their response to her requests.
After the dismissal of her health care liability action,
Graham filed this case for invasion of privacy, alleging that
the defendants had wrongfully disclosed her personal medical
information by filing the affidavits in the underlying case.
The trial court granted the defendants' motions to
dismiss. Graham appeals. We affirm.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit
Court Affirmed; Case Remanded
Graham, Whitewell, Tennessee, appellant, pro se.
J. Ripper, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellees, Stacy
Lynn Archer and Robinson, Smith & Wells.
Dean Clements and Brie Allaman Stewart, Chattanooga,
Tennessee, for the appellees, Jeanne Weaver and Spine Surgery
Charles D. Susano, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the
court, in which D. Michael Swiney, C.J., and Thomas R.
Frierson, II, J., joined.
CHARLES D. SUSANO, JR., JUDGE
August 2013, Graham filed the underlying health care
liability action against two doctors and a spinal surgery
center. The defendants in that action filed a motion to
dismiss based upon Graham's failure to give pre-suit
notice pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-26-121 and
failure to file a certificate of good faith pursuant to Tenn.
Code Ann. § 29-26-122. Graham responded by alleging that
she had requested her medical records, but that the
defendants had failed to provide those records to her. The
defendants filed the affidavits of Jeanne Weaver, the office
manager for the surgery center, and of Elliott Holt, the CEO
of Medi-Copy Services, Inc, demonstrating that they had
complied with or attempted to comply with each of
Graham's requests for medical records. The court
dismissed that action.
September 11, 2014, Graham brought this action for invasion
of privacy against (1) Jeanne Weaver; (2) Spine Surgery
Associates, PC, the spine surgery center where Ms. Weaver
worked; (3) attorney Stacy Archer and (4) her firm, Robinson,
Smith and Wells, who represented the defendants in the prior
case; (5) Elliott Holt; and (6) Medi-Copy Services, Inc. She
claims that, by filing the affidavits, the defendants
disclosed her name, address, telephone numbers, and the
identity of, and contact information for, her physicians.
Graham asserts that these disclosures constitute an invasion
of her privacy.
October 5, 2015, Jeanne Weaver and Spine Surgery Associates,
PC filed a motion to dismiss. The trial court granted that
motion, finding that "[t]here is no doubt that the
affidavit is sworn testimony which was submitted in the
previous lawsuit." The court concluded as follows:
[T]here is no doubt that the affidavit was relevant to the
issue of the provision of medical records which was raised by
[Graham]. As such, it cannot be used as a basis for liability
as [she] tries to do in this lawsuit. On that ground alone,
the motion to dismiss may be granted. However, it is also
noted that the allegedly confidential information contained
in the affidavit had already been disclosed in other
pleadings and statements by [Graham] in the previous lawsuit.