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Topic: Fraud

Modification to Tennessee Medicaid False Claims Act clarifies that employees, contractors and agents are entitled to relief for employment discrimination for efforts to stop violations of the Act.

Posted on Jun 30 2013 10:07PM by Attorney, Jason A. Lee

Analysis:  The Tennessee Medicaid False Claims Act (“the Act”) is an important statute that is intended to prevent the filing of false or fraudulent Medicaid claims.  It has a specific provision that provides protections to employees and others who are discriminated against for taking any action against Medicaid fraud under the statute.  On April 11, 2013, Governor Bill Haslam signed Public Chapter No. 99 which was passed by the Tennessee Legislature in the 2013 Tennessee Legislative session.  It basically clarifies that this statute is also intended to provide protection to individuals who attempt to stop any violation of the Act.  Specifically they are entitled to protections if they experience any employment discrimination as a result of their actions to stop violations of the Act.  Prior to this amendment, the statute was not very clear on this issue.  The Tennessee legislature bill summary provides a good summary of the intent of this new legislation.  It provides as follows:


Generally, under the present Tennessee Medicaid False Claims Act (the Act), any employee, contractor, or agent who is discriminated against in the terms and conditions of employment because of lawful acts done in furtherance of an action for Medicaid fraud, including investigation for, initiation of, testimony for, or assistance in such an action, is entitled to all relief necessary to make the employee, contractor, or agent whole, including reinstatement, two times the amount of back pay, interest on the back pay, and compensation for any special damages sustained, including litigation costs and reasonable attorney's fees.

This bill clarifies that employees, contractors and agents would additionally be entitled to the relief described above for employment discrimination due to any effort of such person to stop a violation of the Act.


The new language is now found in T.C.A. § 71-5-183(g) which provides as follows:

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TAGS: Damages, Fraud, 2013 Tennessee Legislation, Employment Law Comments [0]

Statute of Limitations - When does the doctrine of fraudulent concealment extend the statute of limitations under Tennessee law?

Posted on Jan 18 2013 1:10PM by Attorney, Jason A. Lee

Analysis:  The recent Tennessee Court of Appeals decision of Alisa Leigh Eldrige v. Lee Savage, No. M2012-00973-COA-R3-CV, 2012 WL 6757941 (Tenn. Ct. App. December 28, 2012) discussed when fraudulent concealment can extend the statute of limitations for a cause of action.  This case concerned an allegation that the seller of a home fraudulently concealed fire damage in the sale of the home to the plaintiff purchaser. Eldrige at 1, 2.  The plaintiff alleged the defendant negligently or intentionally misrepresented the fire damage by making false statements of fact about the extent of the damage and subsequent repairs made to the home. Eldrige at 2.  The original sale transaction of the home occurred in 1994 and the lawsuit was not brought until 2010. Eldrige at 1.  The plaintiff asserted she did not discover the extensive fire damage until 2010. Eldrige at 1.


One of the questions in this case was whether the doctrine of “fraudulent concealment” applied to toll the statute of limitations. Eldrige at 2.  Generally, the doctrine of fraudulent concealment applies "to circumstances in which the defendant purposefully engages in conduct intended to conceal the plaintiff's injury from the plaintiff."  Eldrige at 4.  The Tennessee Court of Appeals found that a plaintiff who invokes the doctrine of fraudulent concealment must allege and prove four specific elements as follows:


(1) that the defendant affirmatively concealed the plaintiff's injury or the identity of the wrongdoer or failed to disclose material facts regarding the injury or the wrongdoer despite a duty to do so;

(2) that the plaintiff could not have discovered the injury or the identity of the wrongdoer despite reasonable care and diligence;

(3) that the defendant knew that the plaintiff had been injured and the identity of the wrongdoer; and

(4) that the defendant concealed material information from the plaintiff by withholding information or making use of some device to mislead the plaintiff in order to exclude suspicion or prevent inquiry.


Eldrige at 4

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TAGS: Fraud, Real Estate, Statute of Limitations, Civil Procedure Comments [0]

Settlement Agreement – Difficulty to overturn a settlement agreement

Posted on Jul 25 2012 8:18AM by Attorney, Jason A. Lee

Brief Summary:  This new case shows how difficult it is to overturn a settlement agreement in Tennessee.  It is difficult even when the plaintiff misrepresents material facts that were in dispute in the settled lawsuit.  The Tennessee Court of Appeals found it is an important public policy to keep “circumstances by which a party may overturn a prior final judgment” very narrow.


Analysis:  The Tennessee Court of Appeals decision of Tia Gentry v. Dale Larkin, E2011-02402-COA-R3-CV, 389 S.W.3d 329 (filed July 13, 2012) decided a case involving the “slayer’s statute”.  This case has very interesting facts and deals with an important question of law in Tennessee pertaining to overturning a settlement agreement due to fraud. 


Tennessee has a “slayer’s statute” or “killing statute” found in T.C.A. § 31-1-106.  This statute provides: 


Any person who kills, or conspires with another to kill, or procures to be killed, any other person from whom the first named person would inherit the property, either real or personal, or any part of the property, belonging to the deceased person at the time of the deceased person's death, or who would take the property, or any part of the property, by will, deed, or otherwise, at the death of the deceased, shall forfeit all right in the property, and the property shall go as it would have gone under § 31-2-104, or by will, deed or other conveyance, as the case may be; provided, that this section shall not apply to any killing done by accident or in self-defense.


As a result, this statute basically forbids an individual from inheriting any property or recovering any life insurance proceeds from a deceased if that individual was responsible for killing that deceased. 


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TAGS: Fraud, Post Judgment Motions, Settlement, Civil Procedure Comments [0]

Jason A. Lee is a Member of Burrow Lee, PLLC. He practices in all areas of defense litigation inside and outside of Tennessee.

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Tennessee Defense Litigation Blog
Jason A. Lee, Member of Burrow Lee, PLLC
611 Commerce Street, Suite 2603
Nashville, TN 37203
Phone: 615-540-1004
E-mail: jlee@burrowlee.com