Standing - Ex Parte Stenum Hospital, Et Al.

In Ex parte Stenum Hospital, et al., [Ms. 1100245, Sept. 16, 2011] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2011), the Alabama Supreme Court held that one tortfeasor could not implead another tortfeasor based on claims that could only be brought by the plaintiff. Therefore, the third party complaint was dismissed for lack of standing. In February 2007, Plaintiff slipped and fell on a wet tile floor in a mall in Huntsville, Alabama. Plaintiff fractured her patella and "aggravated and/or sustained injuries to her spine, including her neck and back" in the incident. Plaintiff underwent a disk-replacement surgery in Germany and became partially paralyzed as a result. Plaintiff later sued a variety of entities associated with the mall (hereinafter "mall parties"), but did not assert any claims against the hospital or medical personnel (hereinafter "hospital parties") related to her back surgery. The mall parties filed a third party complaint against the hospital parties alleging medical malpractice, fraud, negligence per se, breach of contract, abandonment of contract, abandonment of professional relationship, battery, the tort of outrage, and lack of informed consent. The Alabama Supreme Court held that a joint tortfeasor could not use third-party pleading rules to implead another joint tortfeasor. Because the claims asserted in the third-party complaint could only be asserted by the plaintiff, the mall parties lacked standing to pursue those claims on the plaintiff's behalf. As a result, the Court dismissed the third party complaint.
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