Alabama Corrections Institution Finance Authority v. WilsonAnnotate this Case
The Alabama Corrections Institution Finance Authority ("ACIFA") and its ex officio vice president Kim Thomas appealed a judgment entered on a jury verdict awarding $5 million in compensatory damages to Albert Wilson, Donald Simmons, Rufus Barnes, Bryan Gavins, Joseph Danzey, and a class of current and former nonexempt correctional officers ("the correctional officers") employed by the Alabama Department of Corrections ("ADOC"). The correctional officers originally filed suit alleging that ADOC was violating its own regulations and state law in the manner in which it: (1) compensated correctional officers for overtime; (2) restricted the way correctional officers were allowed to use earned leave; and (3) paid correctional officers the daily subsistence allowance provided by law. The plaintiffs also sought class certification on behalf of all other similarly situated correctional officers employed by ADOC and requested injunctive relief, as well as money damages, to include backpay with interest, punitive damages, and litigation costs and expenses, including attorney fees. The Supreme Court reversed the judgment entered on the jury's verdict: "Suffice to say, [the correctional officers] failed to present substantial evidence of a connection between ACIFA and the supervision of the correctional officers or how the correctional officers are paid. Without evidence indicating that ACIFA had anything to do with the personnel policies at issue or how correctional officers' pay is determined and distributed or the funds that are used to pay correctional officers, ACIFA cannot be held liable for the harms the correctional officers allege they suffered. Because of the lack of substantial evidence in support of the claims made by the correctional officers against ACIFA and against Thomas as ex officio vice president of ACIFA, the defendants were entitled to a judgment as a matter of law on those claims."