In re: Ivey v. Lewis Trucking Co.Annotate this Case
Getloaded Corporation, TransCore, and Roper Industries, Inc. (collectively, Getloaded), and American Timber & Steel Company, Inc. (ATSC), petitioned the Supreme Court for writs of mandamus to direct the Montgomery Circuit Court to dismiss them as defendants based on a lack of personal jurisdiction in actions filed by Plaintiffs Bishop Ivey, Carolyn Kelley, Joan Foye Wynn, Sonie Taylor, Annette Fenn, Kendra Bouier, and Jenny Simmons. The plaintiffs were representatives of the estates of passengers riding in an Alabama Department of Corrections van who died as a result of an October 2008 accident. A truck carrying lumber purchased by ATSC from Getloaded tried to pass another vehicle on the highway. The van hit the passing truck and caught fire, engulfing the van in flames killing all inside. The plaintiffs' respective complaints asserted claims against the purchasers of the lumber, the truck drivers and their trucking companies, and others who were otherwise involved in the loading and delivery of the lumber. ATSC filed an answer to the complaints in which, among other things, it pleaded lack of personal jurisdiction. In April 2009, the claims against ATSC were voluntarily dismissed without prejudice. The plaintiffs then reached a settlement with one of the trucking companies and its driver. The circuit court found that the remaining Defendants had the sufficient "minimum contacts" with the state to justify the exercise of personal jurisdiction. Upon review, the Supreme Court found Defendants did not have sufficient contact with the state in order for the circuit court to exercise personal jurisdiction over them. The Supreme Court reversed the court's decision and remanded the case to dismiss Defendants from this action.