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Reported Decisions

  • Mandamus

    Ex parte Dr. Katherine Crafton, D.C. and Crafton Chiropractic, Inc., (In re: Doug Johnson v. Dr. Katherine Crafton, D.C., et al., Mobile Circuit Court: CV-19-900178), [Ms. 1190584, June 11, 2020] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2020). In a Cunningham Bounds case, the Supreme Court denies a petition for a writ of mandamus filed by Defendants Dr. Katherine Crafton and Crafton Chiropractic, Inc. The mandamus petition sought an order directing the Mobile Circuit Court to vacate orders compelling discovery of information which Defendants contended was exempt from discovery by the Alabama Medical Liability Act (“AMLA”). The circuit court had ruled that the AMLA did not apply.

    The Plaintiff moved to dismiss the mandamus petition as untimely, because it was not filed prior to the date set by the circuit court for compliance with its orders compelling production. The Court (Parker, C.J., and Bolin, Wise, Bryan, Sellers, Mendheim, Stewart, and Mitchell, JJ., concur; Shaw, J., dissents) denied the petition for a writ of mandamus, without opinion.

  • Ex parte Right at Home, LLC

    Ex parte Right at Home, LLC, [Ms. 1190289, Jan. 29, 2020] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2019). The Supreme Court denies a petition for a writ of mandamus filed by Defendant Right at Home, LLC, an out-of-state franchisor active throughout Alabama in the business of non-medical in-home care of the elderly. Right at Home’s January 3, 2020, mandamus petition sought an order directing the Mobile Circuit Court to dismiss Right at Home, on grounds of lack of personal jurisdiction, from a wrongful-death action against Right at Home and its local franchisee for the death of an elderly Alzheimer’s patient who died as a result of a scalding bath. The Plaintiff moved to dismiss or summarily deny the petition for non-compliance with Rule 21(a)(1)(E). Two weeks later, the Court (Parker, C.J., and Bolin, Shaw, Wise, Bryan, Mendheim, Stewart, and Mitchell, JJ., concur; Sellers, J., dissents) denied the petition without opinion.

  • American National Property & Casualty Co. v. Gulf Coast Aerial, LLC

    American National Property & Casualty Co. v. Gulf Coast Aerial, LLC, 2019 WL 4131107, __ F.Supp.3d __ (S.D. Ala. Aug. 29, 2019) (Nelson, Magistrate Judge). United States Magistrate Judge Katherine P. Nelson issues a Report and Recommendation in this declaratory judgment action that (1) stays American National Property & Casualty Company's request for a declaration it owes no duty to indemnify Gulf Coast Aerial, LLC, for the air crash which claimed the life of John LaFleur, and (2) permits the insurer's request for a declaration of its duty to defend to proceed, but subject to trial by jury on the issue of whether Mr. LaFleur at the time of crash was excluded from coverage by the policy's definitions.

  • Ex parte Advanced Disposal Services South, LLC

    Ex parte Advanced Disposal Services South, LLC, 2018 WL 4657321, __ So. 3d __ (Ala. Sept. 28, 2018), reh'g denied 2018 WL 6583837 (Dec. 14, 2018). Cunningham Bounds appeared as amicus curiae on behalf of the Alabama Association of Justice, along with Professor Adam Steinman, Professor Heather Elliott, and Professor William G. Ross, in support of plaintiff's/respondent's application for rehearing on the issue of whether the Macon Circuit Court should properly join the City of Tallassee, Alabama, as a necessary and indispensable party pursuant to Ala. R. Civ. P. 19.

  • 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.

    Jones v. DePuy Synthes Products, Inc., 330 F.R.D. 298 (N.D. Ala. 2018) (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.

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