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Mar 24, 2017

Discovery Sanction; Dismissal of Personal-Injury Action - Horton v. Hinton

Horton v. Hinton, [Ms. 2150631, Mar. 24, 2017] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. Civ. App. 2017).  Citing Rule 37(b) and (d), Ala. R. Civ. P., Iverson v. Xpert Tune, Inc., 553 So. 2d 82 (Ala. 1989), Napier v. McDougal, 601 So. 2d 446 (Ala. 1992), Tri-Shelters, Inc. v. A. G. Gaston Constr. Co., 622 So. 2d 329 (Ala. 1993) and Bowman v. May, 678 So. 2d 1135 (Ala. Civ. App. 1996), the Court of Civil Appeals unanimously concludes that the Tuscaloosa Circuit Court properly dismissed a personal-injury action as ... Read More

Mar 24, 2017

Peace-Officer Immunity § 6-5-640, Ala. Code 1975 & State-Agent Immunity - Ex parte City of Homewood

Ex parte City of Homewood, [Ms. 1151310, Mar. 24, 2017] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2017).  The Court unanimously grants a petition for a writ of mandamus seeking an order directing the Jefferson Circuit Court to enter summary judgment in favor of two Homewood police officers alleged to have acted wantonly during a high-speed vehicular pursuit of an alleged shoplifter who lost control of her vehicle causing the plaintiff’s injuries.
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Mar 24, 2017

Judgments Upon Verdicts in Personal Injury Cases Affirmed; Punitive Damages; Taxation of Costs - Thomas v. Heard

Thomas v. Heard, [Ms. 1150118, Mar. 24, 2017] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2017).  On rehearing, the Court affirms in part judgments entered by the Geneva Circuit Court upon a jury’s verdict awarding compensatory and punitive damages for multiple severe injuries in an intersection collision case caused by a driver under the influence of alcohol and Seroquel.  Read More

Mar 17, 2017

Workers’ Compensation Benefits; Permanent, Total Disability - Brewton Area Young Men’s Christian Assoc., Inc. v. Lanier

Brewton Area Young Men’s Christian Assoc., Inc. v. Lanier, [Ms. 2150914, Mar. 17, 2017] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. Civ. App. 2017).  Relying upon the stringent standard for appellate review of factual findings and legal determinations after an ore tenus trial of a workers’ compensation claim, the Court of Civil Appeals affirms a judgment of the Escambia Circuit Court finding an employee of the Brewton Area Young Men’s Christian Association entitled to permanent and total workers’ compensation disability benefits.

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Mar 17, 2017

Funeral Services; Arbitration - Newell v. SCI Alabama Funeral Services, LLC

Newell v. SCI Alabama Funeral Services, LLC, [Ms. 1151078, Mar. 17, 2017] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2017).  The Court affirms an order of the Mobile Circuit Court granting a motion to compel arbitration filed by a funeral services company alleged to have mishandled human remains prior to cremation.  Read More

Mar 17, 2017

Rule 54(b), Ala. R. Civ. P., Finality of Judgment; Dismissal of Appeal - Blackmon v. Renasant Bank

Blackmon v. Renasant Bank, [Ms. 1150692, Mar. 17, 2017] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2017).  The Court dismisses an appeal from the Madison Circuit Court in an action by Renasant Bank against a purported debtor and the estate of her deceased husband for money allegedly owed under a home equity line of credit upon concluding that the circuit court’s Rule 54(b), Ala. R. Civ. P., order was not sufficiently final to support the appeal.

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Mar 17, 2017

Federal Employers Liability Act; Claim Preclusion by Federal Railroad Administration Regulations - Cottles v. Norfolk Southern Rwy. Co.

Cottles v. Norfolk Southern Rwy. Co., [Ms. 1140632, Mar. 17, 2017] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2017) (on rehearing).  The Court overrules Norfolk Southern’s Application for Rehearing and again emphasizes that POM Wonderful LLC v. Coca-Cola Co., 573 U.S. __, 134 S.Ct. 2228 (2014) is correctly construed so that Federal Railroad Administration Regulations do not preclude Federal Employers Liability Act-based claims.  Read More

Mar 17, 2017

Qualified Immunity & State-Agent Immunity - Ex parte Hugine

Ex parte Hugine, [Ms. 1130428, Mar. 17, 2017] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2017).  In this 75-page opinion, the full Court (Murdock, J., and Stuart, Bolin, Main, Wise, and Bryan, JJ., concur; Parker, J., concurs in part and concurs in the result; Shaw, J., concurs in the result) grants a petition for a writ of mandamus and directs the Madison Circuit Court to enter summary judgment in favor of an administrator at Alabama A&M on the bases of qualified immunity relative to retaliation claims premised upon alleged violations ... Read More

Mar 10, 2017

Uninsured Motorist Coverage & Uninsured Vehicle Exclusion - GEICO Indemn. Co. v. Bell

GEICO Indemn. Co. v. Bell, [Ms. 2150745, Mar. 10, 2017] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. Civ. App. 2017).  Citing Watts v. Preferred Risk Mut. Ins. Co., 423 So. 2d 171 (Ala. 1982), the Court of Civil Appeals holds “that a vehicle which is insured under a policy of insurance ‘does not become uninsured because liability coverage may not be available to a particular individual.’”
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Mar 3, 2017

Exclusivity Provision of Longshore & Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, 33 U.S.C. § 901, et seq. and Affirmance of Denials of Motions to Dismiss - Ex parte Austal USA, LLC

Ex parte Austal USA, LLC, [Ms. 1151138, 1151244, Mar. 3, 2017] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2017).  In another Cunningham Bounds case, the Supreme Court denies petitions for writs of mandamus by Austal USA, LLC, a shipbuilder in Mobile, which sought dismissal of a complaint brought by eight of its employees who alleged Austal intentionally injured them by requiring each to work with an improperly modified hand-held rotary saw that had previously injured dozens of Austal’s employees.
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Mar 3, 2017

In Rem Jurisdiction & Civil Forfeiture - Little v. Gaston

Little v. Gaston, [Ms. 2150889, Mar. 3, 2017] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. Civ. App. 2017).  The Court of Civil Appeals affirms an entry of summary judgment by the Montgomery Circuit Court ordering an Alabama law enforcement agency officer to return cash seized pursuant to a search warrant upon concluding that the Montgomery Circuit Court had exclusive in rem jurisdiction over the money seized and that it was due to be returned because no state forfeiture proceeding had been promptly commenced as required by § 20-2-93(c), Ala. Code 1975.

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Mar 3, 2017

Arbitration & Appellate Review Pursuant to Rule 4(d), Ala. R. App. P. - Bevel v. Marine Group, LLC

Bevel v. Marine Group, LLC, [Ms. 1150941, Mar. 3, 2017] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2017).  The Court reverses an order of the Marshall Circuit Court granting a motion to compel arbitration upon concluding that a purchaser’s failure to check a box on a bill of sale containing an arbitration provision indicated the purchaser never assented to arbitrate disputes arising from the purchase.
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Feb 25, 2017

Fraud In The Inducement – Verdict for Compensatory and Punitive Damages Affirmed - Farmers Ins. Exchange v. Morris

Farmers Ins. Exchange v. Morris, [Ms. 1121091, Feb. 12, 2016], 2016 WL 661671, __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2016), reh’g denied Feb. 24, 2017. In this Cunningham Bounds case, Kyle Morris sued Farmers Insurance for fraudulently inducing him to become a Farmers agent.  Kyle was already an agent in his father’s insurance agency, and Farmers agents assured him that continuing this relationship was not prohibited by any Farmers’ rules.  After he worked successfully for Farmers for more than two years, Farmers terminated him because of an alleged conflict of interest from working with his father’s agency.

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Feb 24, 2017

Permissive Appeals & Mandamus - Ex parte Boddie

Ex parte Boddie, [Ms. 2160228, Feb. 24, 2017] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. Civ. App. 2017).  The Court of Civil Appeals denies a father’s petition seeking permission to appeal pursuant to Rule 5, Ala. R. App. P., and, in the alternative, for a writ of mandamus following certification by the Shelby Circuit Court of a Rule 54(b), Ala. R. Civ. P., final order rejecting the father’s contention that no past-due child support was owed because he and the mother of the children were involved in a common-law marriage.

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Feb 24, 2017

Mandamus & Review of AHSAA Eligibility Determinations - Ex parte Alabama High School Athletic Association

Ex parte Alabama High School Athletic Association, [Ms. 1160121, Feb. 24, 2017] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2017).  The Court issues a formal opinion confirming its November 14, 2016 summary order granting petitions for writs of mandamus which declared orders of the Geneva Circuit Court and Washington Circuit Court void when those courts purported to issue orders impacting an eligibility determination made by the Alabama High School Athletic Association and its executive director. Read More

Feb 24, 2017

Alabama Legal Services Liability Act § 6-5-570, et seq., Ala. Code 1975 - Bond v. McLaughlin

Bond v. McLaughlin, [Ms. 1151215, Feb. 24, 2017] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2017).  The Court reverses a summary judgment entered by the Lee Circuit Court in an action alleging legal malpractice under the Alabama Legal Services Liability Act § 6-5-570, et seq., Ala. Code 1975, upon concluding that the plaintiff met her burden of presenting substantial evidence creating a genuine issue of material fact concerning whether a will contest, had it been properly filed in an underlying action, would have been successful. Read More

Feb 24, 2017

Mandamus & Residual Jurisdiction - Ex parte Caremark Rx, LLC

Ex parte Caremark Rx, LLC, [Ms. 1151160, Feb. 24, 2017] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2017).   2017).  The Court reverses an order of the Franklin Circuit Court requiring a defendant in a class action case settled sixteen years ago to produce under authority of Rule 60(b)(6), Ala. R. Civ. P., and an assertion by the circuit court of “retained jurisdiction” documents identifying all members of the plaintiff class covered by the settlement.  Read More

Feb 24, 2017

State-Agent Immunity - Ex parte Ingram

Ex parte Ingram, [Ms. 1131228, Feb. 24, 2017] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2017).  In a plurality opinion (Murdock, J. and Main and Wise, JJ., concur; Stuart and Murdock, JJ., concur specially; Parker and Bryan, JJ., concur in the result; and Shaw, J., concurring in the result in part and dissenting in part), the Court revisits the “beyond-authority” exception to state-agent immunity identified in Ex parte Cranman, 792 So. 2d 392, 405 (Ala. 2002) and applied in Ex parte Sumerlin ... Read More

Feb 17, 2017

Summary Judgment Procedure - Hendon v. Holloway

Hendon v. Holloway, [Ms. 2150958, Feb. 17, 2017] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. Civ. App. 2017).  The Court of Civil Appeals affirms in part and reverses in part a summary judgment entered by the Jefferson Circuit Court in favor of defendants in an action alleging malicious prosecution and harassment.

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Feb 17, 2017

Timeliness of Appeal From District Court Judgment - Modi v. Johnson

Modi v. Johnson, [Ms. 2160072, Feb. 17, 2017] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. Civ. App. 2017).  Citing Croskey v. Crawford, 177 So. 3d 468 (Ala. Civ. App. 2014) and McCaskill v. McCaskill, 111 So. 3d 736 (Ala. Civ. App. 2012), the Court of Civil Appeals holds that an appeal from a district court judgment concerning a request for imposition of a garnishment was untimely because it was not filed “within 14 days from the date of the judgment or the denial of a post-trial motion, whichever is later” as required by ... Read More

Feb 17, 2017

Rule 54(b), Ala. R. Civ. P. “Finality” - Equity Trust Co. v. Breland

Equity Trust Co. v. Breland, [Ms. 1150302, 1150876, Feb. 17, 2017] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2017)(certification and dismissal of appeal).  The Court dismisses consolidated appeals from the Mobile Circuit Court upon concluding the circuit court exceeded its discretion in certifying its judgments under Rule 54(b), Ala. R. Civ. P. as final and therefore appealable. Read More

Feb 17, 2017

Medical Negligence & Exceptions to Requirement of Expert Testimony to Establish Breach of the Standard of Care & Causation - Collins v. Herring Chiropractic Center, LLC

Collins v. Herring Chiropractic Center, LLC, [Ms. 1151173, Feb. 17, 2017] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2017).  The Court reverses a summary judgment entered by the Jefferson Circuit Court in favor of a chiropractor and his clinic in an action under the Alabama Medical Liability Act for burn injuries and scarring attributable to application of a cold pack to a patient’s knee.  Read More

Feb 10, 2017

Apparent Authority & Non-Delegable Duty - Bain v. Colbert County Northwest Ala. Health Care Auth.

Bain v. Colbert County Northwest Ala. Health Care Auth., [Ms. 1150764, Feb. 10, 2017] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2017).  The Court, per curiam, (Stuart, Bolin, Shaw, Main, Wise, and Bryan, JJ, concur; Parker and Murdock, JJ, concur in part and dissent in part) affirm a summary judgment entered by the Colbert Circuit Court in favor of Helen Keller Hospital and against a personal representative of her deceased husband’s estate in a medical negligence case which sought to impose vicarious liability upon the hospital for the acts of its emergency room physician.  Read More

Feb 10, 2017

Standing to Appeal - Manley v. Vaughn

Manley v. Vaughn, [Ms. 2150855, Feb. 10, 2017] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. Civ. App. 2017).  Citing McCollum v. Keating, 5 So. 3d 1283 (Ala. Civ. App. 2008), the court again holds that “[u]nless a person is a party to a judgment, he [cannot] appeal from that judgment.  ...  One must have been a party to the judgment below in order to have standing to appeal any issue arising out of that judgment.”  Read More

Feb 10, 2017

Civil Forfeiture - Wallace v. State

Wallace v. State, [Ms. 2150967, Feb. 10, 2017] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. Civ. App. 2017).  The Court of Civil Appeals reverses a judgment entered by the Shelby Circuit Court ordering the forfeiture of an automobile based upon its use in a sale of marijuana.  Read More

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