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Reported Decisions

  • Ex parte LG Chem, Ltd.

    Alabama Supreme Court Case No. 1180386, __ So. 3d __ (table) (Apr. 25, 2019). The Court unanimously denies a petition for a writ of mandamus filed by defendants LG Chem, Ltd., LG Chem America, Inc., and LG Chem Michigan, Inc., which sought reversal of the Baldwin Circuit Court's orders granting plaintiff's motion to compel discovery, entering plaintiff's proposed protective order, and striking affidavits submitted by defendants in support of their motion for reconsideration, all premised upon the contention there was no personal jurisdiction in Alabama over defendants and that plaintiff should not be afforded jurisdictional discovery. Plaintiff filed a motion to dismiss the petition contending it was untimely given the rules established by the Supreme Court in Ex parte Horton Homes, Inc., 774 So. 2d 536, 540 (Ala. 2000), and Ex parte Troutman Sanders, LLP, 866 So. 2d 547, 549 (Ala. 2003), and procedurally deficient under Ala. R. App. P. 21(8)(3) for failing to include the mandatory "statement of circumstances constituting good cause for appellate court to consider the petition."

    After extensive briefing, the Court denied the petition, without opinion, and without requiring plaintiff to file an answer and brief.

  • In the Matter of the Complaint of Henry Marine Service, Inc., as Owner and Operator of the M/V Jamie H.

    U.S. District Court Civil Action No. 1:18-00154-JB-B, __ F.Supp.3d __ (S.D. Ala. Apr. 11, 2019). U.S. District Judge Jeffrey U. Beaverstock enters order granting claimant's motion to dissolve injunction and to lift stay supported by stipulations conforming with Beiswenger Enterprises Corp. v. Carletta, 86 F.3d 1032, 1033-34 (11th Cir. 1996), so as to permit plaintiff to proceed under the savings to suitors clause with her state-court wrongful death action against Henry Marine Service, Inc., and the M/V Jamie H. for the death on October 7, 2017, of a crew member, Daniel Lee Smith, while the vessel was moored at Alabama Power Company's Barry Steam Plant in Bucks, Alabama. The district court initially entered an injunction and stay of claimant's wrongful death case following Henry Marine's complaint for exoneration from or limitation of liability under the Shipowner's Limitation of Liability Act, 46 U.S.C. § 30501, et seq. However, the district court finds claimant's stipulations adequate to protect the vessel owner, such that she would be permitted to litigate liability and damages issues in the wrongful death lawsuit pending in the Circuit Court of Mobile County, Alabama.

  • Jones v. Depuy Synthes Products, Inc,

    [Case No. 7:17-cv-01778-LSC, Nov. 20, 2018] 2018 WL 6431013 (N.D. Ala. 2018) (United States District Court Judge L. Scott Coogler). The district court denies a Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(f) motion to strike plaintiffs' amended complaint and Rule 12(f) and 23(d)(1)(D) motion to strike plaintiffs' nationwide class action allegations, contending that component parts of Depuy's ATTUNE total knee replacement systems are defective. The district court rejects Depuy's contentions that plaintiffs' amended complaint was due to be stricken because plaintiffs could not meet the commonality and typicality requirements of Rule 23(a) or the superiority and preponderance requirements of Rule 23(b)(3). The court also rejects Depuy's contention that a plaintiff in a federal class-action must establish personal jurisdiction over all unnamed putative class members given the holding of the U.S. Supreme Court in Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of California, San Francisco County, 137 S. Ct. 1773 (2017).

  • Ex parte Mobile Infirmary Association d/b/a Mobile Infirmary Medical Center

    Alabama Supreme Court Case No. 1170993 (Aug. 16, 2018). The Court unanimously (Stuart, C.J., and Bolin, Parker, Shaw, Main, Wise, Bryan, Sellers, and Mendheim, JJ., concur) denies without opinion the fourth petition for a writ of mandamus arising from the death of Debra Weldon Dotson at Mobile Infirmary in 2016 (see Case Nos. 1170825 (Infirmary's petition denied July 27, 2018; 1160769 (Infirmary's petition denied September 12, 2017); and 1160645 (Infirmary's petition dismissed June 2, 2017)). In this petition, the Infirmary sought dismissal of the wrongful death complaint under authority of § 6-5-440, Ala. Code 1975 (Alabama's "abatement" or "prior pending action" statute). Plaintiff demonstrated that the issues presented by the petition were moot, that there was no identity of parties between the two medical negligence wrongful death actions as required for invocation of § 6-5-440, and that the Infirmary should be judicially estopped from invoking § 6-5-440 under the doctrine prohibiting inconsistent positions.

  • Thomas Jones, on Behalf of Themselves and Others Similarly Situated, etc. v. Singing River Health Services Foundation, et al.

    Thomas Jones, on Behalf of Themselves and Others Similarly Situated, etc. v. Singing River Health Services Foundation, et al., [Ms. 18-60130, Aug. 6, 2018] __ Fed. Appx. __ (5th Cir. 2018) (unpublished pursuant to 5th Cir. R. 47.5). The Fifth Circuit panel unanimously affirms this $149,950,000 class action settlement agreement for members of the Singing River Health System Employees Retirement Plan and Trust for claims arising from the hospital system's failure to make annual required contributions to the Plan from 2009 to 2014 needed to maintain the Plan's fiscal integrity. The court holds that the district court, upon remand from Jones v. Singing River Health Servs. Found., 865 F.3d 285 (5th Cir. 2017), had properly addressed four questions concerning the propriety of the settlement.

  • Oasis Legal Finance, LLC v. James Marquez and Kennedy Dixon, et al.

    In Oasis Legal Finance, LLC v. James Marquez and Kennedy Dixon, et al., No. 17-90024-Q, (11th Cir. July 26, 2018), the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals denied without opinion the defendant’s petition for permission to appeal an order entered by the United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama remanding this class action case to the Mobile County Circuit Court. The district court found that 28 U.S.C. § 1445(c) rendered this case non-removable despite a claim of federal subject matter jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d)(2). In their response to Oasis’s Petition, plaintiffs argued that the questions Oasis presented to the Eleventh Circuit did not present an unsettled CAFA-related question likely to arise in future cases, as is required to obtain appellate review of a remand order involving a class action case.

  • Ex parte Mobile Infirmary Association d/b/a Mobile Infirmary Medical Center

    [Ms. 1170825, July 27, 2018] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2018). The Supreme Court (Stuart, C.J., and Bolin, Parker, Shaw, Main, Bryan, Sellers, and Mendheim, J.J., concur) denies yet another petition for writ of mandamus (the third petition filed in the case concerning Debra Dotson's death at Mobile Infirmary in July 2016), contending the Mobile Circuit Court erred in granting plaintiff's motion to permit substitution of a successor personal representative and in denying the Infirmary's motion to dismiss the wrongful death action premised upon an alleged want of capacity by the original personal representative to file the action.

  • Ex parte FedEx Ground Package System, Inc., Alabama Supreme Court Case No. 1170648, May 1, 2018, __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2018

    The Supreme Court of Alabama on May 1, 2018, dismissed a petition for writ of mandamus filed by FedEx Ground Package System, Inc., in which FedEx contended the Circuit Court of Mobile County exceeded its discretion when it ordered production of documents responsive to plaintiff's discovery requests in a personal injury action. The Court rejected FedEx's contentions that its discovery obligations would be unduly burdensome.

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