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Workers' Compensation Exclusivity - Mandamus Procedure

Ex parte Drury Hotels Company, LLC, [Ms. 1181010, Feb. 28, 2020] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2020). The Court unanimously (Bryan, J.; Parker, C.J., and Bolin, Shaw, Wise, Sellers, Mendheim, Stewart, and Mitchell, JJ., concur) denies a petition for writ of mandamus by Drury Hotels in an action filed by Diaz, a housekeeper at Drury who alleged that while she was working at the hotel, she was attacked by an unknown assailant.

The Court first noted that mandamus review is available of an order denying a motion to dismiss asserting immunity under the exclusive remedy provisions of the Workers' Compensation Act. Ms. *4. The Supreme Court applies the 12(b)(6) standard when conducting mandamus review of the denial of a motion to dismiss:

“The appropriate standard of review under Rule 12(b)(6) is whether, when the allegations of the complaint are viewed most strongly in the pleader’s favor, it appears that the pleader could prove any set of circumstances that would entitle her to relief. In making this determination, this Court does not consider whether the plaintiff will ultimately prevail, but only whether she may possibly prevail. We note that a Rule 12(b)(6) dismissal is proper only when it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of the claim that would entitle the plaintiff to relief.”

Ms. *9, quoting Nance v. Matthews, 622 So. 2d 297, 299 (Ala. 1993).

Because Drury failed to discuss the issues “within the necessary procedural framework, i.e., the denial of the Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, ... Drury has failed to establish a clear legal right to relief regarding the trial court’s denial of its first motion to dismiss.” Ms. *10-11.

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