Final Judgment - Premature Appeal

Pilgrim’s Pride v. Smith; Smith v. Pilgrim’s Pride, [Ms. 2181055; 2190034, Dec. 31, 2020], ___ So. 3d ___ (Ala. Civ. App. 2020). The court (Donaldson, J.; Thompson, P.J., and Moore, Edwards, and Hanson, JJ., concur) dismisses both the employer’s appeal from the Marshall Circuit Court’s judgment awarding the employee workers’ compensation benefits and the employee’s cross appeal of a summary judgment dismissing his outrage claim. The court explains that the employer’s appeal of the judgment awarding workers’ compensation benefits, “even though premature, deprived the trial court of jurisdiction to enter the tort-of-outrage [summary] judgment on June 17, 2019, and, therefore, that judgment is void. See, e.g., Horton v. Horton, 822 So. 2d 431, 434 (Ala. Civ. App. 2001) (‘The husband’s notice of appeal, although premature, had the effect of divesting the trial court of jurisdiction to rule upon the remaining issues in the divorce action until the appeal had been disposed; thus, the December 19, 2000, ‘judgment’ is a nullity.’)” Ms. *8.

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