CIVIL PROCEDURE / APPEALING A NON-FINAL JUDGMENT - LISA HILL SLEDGE, AS PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE OF THE ESTATE OF TANESHA E. HILL, DECEASED V. IC CORP., ET AL.
In Lisa Hill Sledge, as personal representative of the estate of Tanesha E. Hill, deceased v. IC Corp., et al., [Ms. 1080087, April 2, 2010] __ So.3d __ (Ala. 2010), the Alabama Supreme Court examined the validity of the trial court's Rule 54(b) certification after entry of a partial summary judgment. In the underlying action, plaintiff sued the manufacturers of a school bus after plaintiff's minor child was killed in a crash while riding a bus designed and manufactured by defendants. The trial court's order granting partial summary judgment was for all claims related to the lack of providing seatbelts to the passengers, but did not affect any of the other product defect claims asserted by the plaintiffs against the defendants. The Court dismissed the appeal because the partial summary judgment did not "direct the entry of a final judgment as to one or more, but fewer than all of the claims or parties," so certification was not available under Rule 54(b) Ala.R.Civ.P., and the appeal therefore was from a non-final judgment.