Retail and Hospitality Team Prevails

Shareholders Glenn E. Ireland, Joe Driver and Virginia Gambacurta recently obtained a ruling from the Alabama Supreme Court granting their Petition for Writ of Mandamus and directing the circuit court to dismiss Plaintiff’s Complaint, thereby disposing of all claims against their client, a national pharmacy chain.

On August 26, 2015, Plaintiff filed a personal injury claim against the client but failed to pay the filing fee when she filed the Complaint. Instead, Plaintiff filed an Affidavit of Substantial Hardship asking the court to waive the filing fee. Plaintiff’s Affidavit was not approved prior to the expiration of the two-year statute of limitations. Glenn, Joe and Virginia filed a Motion to Dismiss on the grounds that Plaintiff’s claims were barred by the applicable statute of limitations. Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss was denied by the circuit court. The team responded by petitioning the Alabama Supreme Court for a Writ of Mandamus.

The Alabama Supreme Court opined that the payment of the filing fee or approval of the affidavit is a jurisdictional prerequisite to the commencement of Plaintiff’s action and Plaintiff failed to commence her action within the two-year limitations. Accordingly, the Alabama Supreme Court held that the national pharmacy chain had a clear legal right to have the circuit court dismiss Plaintiff’s Complaint as untimely.

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