David Randolph Smith has played a key role in many of the most important personal injury and wrongful death cases decided by the Tennessee Supreme Court. These cases have included: Jordan v. Baptist Three Rivers Hospital, changing over 100 years of wrongful death law by recognizing the right to recover damages for the loss of the deceased’s love, affection, companionship and consortium; Barkes v. River Park Hospital, establishing the duty of a hospital to patients in medical malpractice cases; and Ashe v. Radiation Oncology Associates, establishing the rules for causation in informed consent cases.
In other cases, we assisted our clients in obtaining legislative changes that led to the protection of all consumers and patients. An example: David Randolph Smith served as lead counsel in the NHC Nursing Home Fire Litigation — a tragic fire at an NHC nursing home, formerly on Patterson Street in Nashville, Tennessee that killed 16 residents: one burned to death in the fire, six died of smoke inhalation the night of the fire, and nine more died in the ensuing weeks. The nursing home, owned by NHC of Murfeesboro, did not have a sprinkler system as none was required at the time. As a result of the fire, Tennessee enacted legislation requiring sprinklers in all nursing facilities and was the first state to do so. The federal government enacted a law requiring nursing homes without sprinklers to have smoke detectors in every room. Thirty-two lawsuits were filed as a result of the fire and NHC settled all thirty-two suits privately within three years.