Alabama Supreme Court

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Alabama Supreme Court addresses 30(b)(6) depositions and default judgments

December 22, 2006

The Alabama Supreme Court held that the manufacturers had a clear legal right to an order severing the claims of the Tuscaloosa miners.

U.S. Chamber files amicus brief

May 25, 2006

In its merits filing, NCLC urged the Alabama Supreme Court to order the trial court to reconsider the draconian, so-called “death penalty,” sanctions it imposed on the defendants for failing to properly designate witnesses who could testify to facts reasonably available to the company. In this case, the plaintiffs requested that the defendants designate a limited number of witnesses who could testify to a large array of facts over a twenty year period. The companies countered that it would be impossible to submit a list of any fewer than eleven witnesses. The trial court disagreed, and entered a virtual default judgment against them. In its amicus brief, NCLC described the discovery landscape faced by large corporations served with 30(b)(6) notices and the detrimental impact the trial court’s decision will have on discovery in Alabama cases.

Petition for writ of mandamus granted

June 03, 2005

U.S. Chamber files amicus brief supporting petition for writ of mandamus

December 29, 2004

In its first filing, NCLC joined the defendants as amicus in asking the Alabama Supreme Court to intervene in this case. The trial judge consolidated the claims of 1,675 plaintiffs into a single proceeding to be tried by a single jury. The case arose out of the plaintiffs’ alleged exposure to a mine-wall sealant at their respective work sites. NCLC urged Alabama’s high court to establish strict standards for adopting such an onerous case-management order in light of the serious dangers posed by mass actions: the obviation of individual issues such as the nature and extent of exposure; the coercion-by-numbers that leads to forced settlements; the deprivation of appellate rights; and the harm to plaintiffs created through generalized treatment of claims.

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