Ex parte Gudel AG.Annotate this Case
Gudel AG, one of several defendants to this case, petitioned for a writ of mandamus to direct the Crenshaw Circuit Court to vacate its order denying Gudel's motion to dismiss the personal-injury claims filed against it by Robert and Cindy Rutledge, and to enter an order dismissing the Rutledges' claims on the basis of a lack of in personam jurisdiction. In February 2013, Robert sued Smart Alabama, LLC ("SAL"), an automotive-parts manufacturer located in Crenshaw County, seeking to recover worker's compensation benefits in connection with an alleged work-related injury Robert suffered in November 2011 while in SAL's employ. In November 2013, Robert amended his original complaint to add a count pursuant to Alabama's Extended Manufacturer's Liability Doctrine as well as negligence and wantonness claims. In addition, the amended complaint added both Hyundai WIA ("Hyundai") and Gudel, as well as several fictitiously named entities, as defendants. The amended complaint alleged that Gudel, a foreign corporation headquartered in Switzerland, "designed, built, manufactured, tested and sold [the] subject machine/equipment that is the subject matter of [the Rutledges'] lawsuit." After review, the Supreme Court held that the trial court exceeded its discretion in determining that it possessed personal jurisdiction over Gudel. Accordingly, Gudel has established a clear legal right to the dismissal of the claims against it; therefore, the Alabama Court granted the petition and directed the trial court to vacate its order denying Gudel's motion to dismiss and to dismiss the Rutledges' claims against Gudel.