2021 Tennessee Code
Title 20 - Civil Procedure
Chapter 1 - Parties to Actions
§ 20-1-119. Comparative Fault — Joinder of Third Party Defendants
- In civil actions where comparative fault is or becomes an issue, if a defendant named in an original complaint initiating a suit filed within the applicable statute of limitations, or named in an amended complaint filed within the applicable statute of limitations, alleges in an answer or amended answer to the original or amended complaint that a person not a party to the suit caused or contributed to the injury or damage for which the plaintiff seeks recovery, and if the plaintiff's cause or causes of action against that person would be barred by any applicable statute of limitations but for the operation of this section, the plaintiff may, within ninety (90) days of the filing of the first answer or first amended answer alleging that person's fault, either:
- Amend the complaint to add the person as a defendant pursuant to Tenn. R. Civ. P. 15 and cause process to be issued for that person; or
- Institute a separate action against that person by filing a summons and complaint. If the plaintiff elects to proceed under this section by filing a separate action, the complaint so filed shall not be considered an original complaint initiating the suit or an amended complaint for purposes of this subsection (a).
- A cause of action brought within ninety (90) days pursuant to subsection (a) shall not be barred by any statute of limitations. This section shall not extend any applicable statute of repose, nor shall this section permit the plaintiff to maintain an action against a person when such an action is barred by an applicable statute of repose.
- This section shall neither shorten nor lengthen the applicable statute of limitations for any cause of action, other than as provided in subsection (a).
- Subsections (a) and (b) shall not apply to any civil action commenced pursuant to § 28-1-105, except an action originally commenced in general sessions court and subsequently recommenced in circuit or chancery court.
- This section shall not limit the right of any defendant to allege in an answer or amended answer that a person not a party to the suit caused or contributed to the injury for which the plaintiff seeks recovery.
- As used in this section, “person” means any individual or legal entity.
- Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, this section applies to suits involving governmental entities.
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