Tennessee passes ‘loser pays’ tort reform law to end frivolous lawsuits
Sponsored by Sen. Jack Johnson and Rep. Vance Dennis, and signed into law by Gov. Haslam, HB3124/SB2638 (Public Ch. No.1046) requires the court in a civil case, on a trial court’s granting of a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, to award costs and reasonable and necessary attorney’s fees incurred in the proceedings as a consequence of the dismissed claims to the party against whom the dismissed claims were pending. According to the new law, a judge in a civil case must assess the litigation costs to a party who successfully seeks dismissal of a claim that does not have a basis in fact or law (a frivolous lawsuit). Recoverable costs include reasonable and necessary attorney fees and are capped at $10,000.