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MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE AND STATE-AGENT IMMUNITY - EX PARTE KOZLOVSKI

Ex parte Kozlovski, [Ms. 1140317, Apr. 24, 2015] __ So.3d __ (Ala. 2015). The Supreme Court grants a petition for a writ of mandamus and orders the Mobile Circuit Court to enter a summary judgment in favor of a psychiatrist employed by the Alabama Department of Mental Health on the basis of state-agent immunity. The Court holds that the psychiatrist established she met the criteria of Ex parte Cranman, 792 So.2d 392 (Ala. 2000), and thus "shall be immune from civil liability in his or her personal capacity," through "exercising judgment in the discharge of duties imposed by statute, rule, or regulation in ... releasing persons of unsound mind ...." Ms. *10. Adhering to the burden-shifting standard for assessment of claims of state-agent immunity set forth in Ex parte Kennedy, 992 So.2d 1276, 1282-83 (Ala. 2008), the Court concluded the psychiatrist met her initial burden of "demonstrating that the plaintiff's claims arise from a function that would entitle the state agent to immunity" such that the burden shifted to the plaintiff "to show that one of the two categories of exceptions to state-agent immunity recognized in Cranman is applicable." Ms. *11. Upon review of the evidence, the Court concluded plaintiff failed to meet his burden of showing "the state agent acted willfully, maliciously, fraudulently, in bad faith, or beyond his or her authority" or "failed 'to discharge duties pursuant to detailed rules or regulations, such as those stated on a checklist.'" Id.

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