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EX PARTE U.S. INNOVATIONS GROUP, INC., 141 SO.3D 459 (ALA. 2013)

Jerry A. Grimes was killed on May 5, 2010, while working for Amtec Corporation at Redstone Arsenal reclaiming rocket fuel (ammonium perchlorate), when a decanter centrifuge provided by U.S. Innovations Group caused a devastating chemical explosion. Jerry’s widow sued Amtech, U.S. Innovations Group, and others for their roles in causing the explosion. U.S. Innovations Group and its managerial employees removed the case to federal court contending the state court was without personal jurisdiction, as Jerry’s death had occurred at the Redstone Arsenal, a federal enclave. The federal court rejected this argument and remanded the case to state court, whereupon U.S. Innovations Group and its employees filed a motion to dismiss, contending the state circuit court was without personal jurisdiction because the death occurred upon the federal enclave. When the motion to dismiss was denied, U.S. Innovations Group and its employees petitioned for a writ of mandamus. On rehearing, the Supreme Court of Alabama unanimously held that the exclusive legislative jurisdiction conferred by Art. I, § 8, clause 17, of the United States Constitution does not deprive state courts of jurisdiction to adjudicate transitory causes of action just because they arise upon an enclave.

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