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CIVIL PROCEDURE - FICTITIOUS-PARTY PRACTICE - EX PARTE NOLAND HOSPITAL MONTGOMERY, LLC

Ex parte Noland Hospital Montgomery, LLC, [Ms. 1110240, Aug. 10, 2012] ___ So. 3d ___ (Ala. 2012). Houston Pynes died on March 9, 2007 "while hospitalized at NHM," i.e., Noland Hospital Montgomery, LLC. His brother Wheatton Pynes sued "Jackson Hospital, Dr. Mukesh Patel, and 'Factitious [sic] party 'A', 'B', being that person and or agent for NOLAND COMPANY ...." After the statute of limitations ran, Mr. Pynes amended the complaint to substitute NHM for a fictitiously named defendant. NHM apparently ran the long-term-care wing of Jackson Hospital. The Court held that Mr. Pynes did not state a cause of action against a long-term-care facility and did not attempt to discover NHM's true identity in a timely fashion. For this lack of due diligence, the Court held that Mr. Pynes did not adequately employ the fictitious-party and relation-back principles of Rules 9(h) and 15(c)(4), Ala. R. Civ. P. The Court granted NHM's petition for mandamus and ordered the entry of summary judgment in NHM's favor.

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