Cannon v. Modular Transportation Company
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER Defendants motion for partial summary judgment DENIED as MOOT for reasons noted within; the case is SET for pretrial conference at 10:30 a.m, March 19, 2014. Signed by Judge William M Acker, Jr on 3/3/14. (Attachments: # 1 Pretrial Instructions)(SAC )
2014 Mar-03 PM 04:32
U.S. DISTRICT COURT
N.D. OF ALABAMA
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
CONSUELLA GRIFFIN, as mother
and next friend of Aaliyah
Moreland, a minor and natural
child of Andrew Moreland,
COMPANY and ROBERT D.
Case No. 2:12-CV-2378-WMA
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Simona Cannon instituted the present wrongful death action as
administrator of the estate of Andrew Moreland, Jr., deceased, in
the Circuit Court of Jefferson County, Case No. CV 2012-901918.
replaced Simona Cannon as plaintiff and as the administrator of
Moreland died in a collision between his car
and a tractor trailer driven by defendant, Robert D. Phinizee
Transportation Company (“Modular”).
The complaint charges that
decedent was killed by the negligence, recklessness, and wantonness
Defendants move for partial summary judgment on
plaintiff’s claim of wantonness.
Both plaintiff and defendants miss the point and therefore
have wasted a lot of their time and the court’s time.
apparently do not understand the liability theory for pursuing a
wrongful death claim in Alabama.
Under Alabama’s unique Homicide
Act, there is no reason for an adjudication, whether under Rule 56,
or otherwise, as to whether Phinizee’s conduct, which admittedly
was in the line and scope of his employment for Modular, was an act
of negligence, or an act of recklessness, or an act of wantonness,
or can properly be characterized as within all three of these
In a wrongful death case in Alabama, such an inquiry
It makes no difference, because the only damages
that can be recovered are punitive and are to be assessed against
a defendant on the basis of what sum of money is necessary to
accomplish the purposes of punishment and deterrence. Compensatory
damages are not recoverable. Baroco v. Araserv, Inc., 621 F.2d 189
(5th Cir. 1980).
The only inquiry, then, is into the degree of
culpability, or the egregiousness of the conduct complained of, and
not what category the conduct might fall into if the general law of
torts were being applied.
Defendants’ motion for partial summary judgment makes no sense
and is therefore DENIED as MOOT.
Discovery having been completed and the deadline for filing
dispositive motions having passed, the case is hereby SET for
pretrial conference at 10:30 a.m, March 19, 2014, in accordance
with the attached pretrial instructions unless before that time the
parties jointly move for mediation in accordance with the court’s
DONE this 3rd day of March, 2014.
WILLIAM M. ACKER, JR.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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