Adams et al v. Criswell
OPINION. Signed by Honorable Judge Myron H. Thompson on 3/3/2014. (dmn, )
IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALABAMA, SOUTHERN DIVISION
LORRI ADAMS, individually, )
WILLIAM ROY CRISWELL,
CIVIL ACTION NO.
This lawsuit, which arises out of an automobile
collision, is now before the court on the parties’ joint
motion to approve the settlement of this case as to minor
plaintiffs P.P., E.F., and J.L.
Minor P.P. (who is
currently 14 years old) are suing through Lorri Adams,
their grandmother, guardian, and next friend.
(who is currently 15 years old) is suing through Starr
Lindley, his mother and next friend.
Adams is also a
defendant is William Roy Criswell.
The jurisdiction of
this court was invoked pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332
(diversity) and 1441 (removal).
Adams and the three minors claim that Criswell rearended a car driven by Adams and in which the minor
injury; P.P. was taken to the hospital but suffered no
serious injury; and J.L. and E.F. received no medical
Nevertheless, the minor plaintiffs allege
discomfort, neck injuries, mental anguish, and pain and
Adams and the three minors agreed to settle their
claims for a total of $ 89,749. Adams will receive
$ 74,999; P.P. will receive $ 8,250; and J.L. and E.F.
will each receive $ 3,250.
All litigation costs will be
taken out of Adams’s portion of the settlement, but
attorney’s fees in the amount of 35 % will be taken out
of each plaintiff’s portion of the settlement.
Alabama Medicaid Agency, part of her settlement will go
to satisfy that agency’s subrogation interest in the
amount of $ 243.16.
After the subrogation amount and
$ 5,119.34; and, after attorney’s fees are deducted, J.L.
and E.F. will each receive $ 2,112.50.
Alabama law requires that a court hold a fairness
hearing before a minor plaintiff’s case may be settled.
Largo v. Hayes By and Through Nesbitt, 534 So.2d 1101,
1105 (Ala. 1988). This is a rule of substantive law,
Burke v. Smith, 252 F.3d 1260, 1266 (11th
In order for the settlement to be binding on
the minor, the hearing must involve “‘examination or
investigation into the facts.’” Abernathy v. Colbert
Cnty. Hosp. Bd., 388 So. 2d 1207, 1209 (Ala. 1980)
42 Am.Jur.2d Infants § 47 (1978)).
fairness hearing to determine whether to approve the
settlement agreement between Criswell and minors P.P.,
J.L., and E.F.
In attendance were Adams and Lindley;
counsel for Criswell; counsel for all four plaintiffs;
and Joe Calvin Cassady, Sr., the court-appointed guardian
at litem for the three minors.
The court reviewed the pleadings in this case, heard
background surrounding this action, including the nature
of the claims of liability and the various defenses
raised by Criswell.
The court finds that there are
substantial issues as to whether minors P.P., E.F., and
J.L. are entitled to recover against Criswell and, if so,
in what amount.
Also, guardian at litem Cassady represented that he
believes the settlement is fair and in the three minors’
best interests, particularly in light of the minimal
injuries and treatment required by each minor.
minors’ guardians, Adams and Lindley, testified that they
understood the nature and finality of the settlement.
representations and testimony at the hearing, that the
terms and provisions of this settlement are understood
and agreed to by all parties; that they are fair, just,
and reasonable under the circumstances involved in this
case: and that they are in the best interests of the
An appropriate judgment will be entered.
DONE, this the 3rd day of March, 2014.
/s/ Myron H. Thompson
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?