Alexander v. Geico Insurance Co.,
[Ms. 1081755, May 14, 2010] __ So. 3d. __ (Ala. 2010), the Alabama Supreme
Court affirmed the dismissal of a complaint for uninsured motorist benefits
against Geico, holding that dismissal was appropriate for want of prosecution.
On May 7, 2008, Geico served written interrogatories and requests for
production on plaintiffs. On September 29, 2008, the trial court entered
a scheduling order stating that all pending written discovery was to be
completed within 60 days. On December 10, 2008, Geico served a second
set of interrogatories on the plaintiffs and filed a motion to compel
plaintiff Courtney's answers to its first set of discovery. On December
15, 2008, the trial court granted the motion to compel and required that
Plaintiff respond to the first set of discovery requests within 14 days.
On January 7, 2009, Courtney responded to Geico's first request for
production. The trial was set for June 22, 2009. On June 8, 2009, Geico
filed two motions to compel D one related to the second set of interrogatories
it served on both plaintiffs and the other related to the first interrogatories
Geico served on plaintiff Courtney in May 2008 (the subject of the previous
motion to compel). The Court granted both motions and ordered the plaintiffs
to respond to the discovery requests within three days. On June 16, 2009,
the plaintiffs responded to Geico's discovery requests. The plaintiffs
requested a continuance of the trial, but it was denied. On June 22, 2009,
Plaintiffs represented to the trial court that they were not ready to
proceed. On June 23, 2009, the trial court dismissed the case. Plaintiffs'
motion to reconsider was denied on August 3, 2009. Finding that the plaintiffs
had not met their burden of demonstrating that the trial court exceeded
its discretion in dismissing the case for want of prosecution, the Alabama
Supreme Court affirmed the dismissal.