Ex parte Alfa Mutual General Insurance Company.Annotate this Case
Alfa Mutual General Insurance Company ("Alfa") petitioned for a writ of mandamus to direct the Mobile Circuit Court to grant its motion seeking to realign the parties to the underlying litigation so that Alfa may "opt out" of participation in the trial. In October 2012, respondent Mark Trotter was
injured when a "road sweeper" he was operating was struck by a vehicle being operated by Daniel Elijah Davis, an uninsured motorist. In October 2014, Trotter sued Alfa seeking to recover uninsured/underinsured motorist ("UIM") benefits pursuant to a policy of insurance issued by Alfa to Trotter, which was in place at the time of the 2012 accident. Trotter did not include Davis as a codefendant in his action against Alfa. Alfa subsequently filed a third-party complaint adding Davis as a third-party defendant. Specifically, Alfa's third-party complaint alleged that, to the extent it was determined to be liable to Trotter for UIM benefits, then Alfa was subrogated to and entitled to recover the amount of that liability from Davis. Thereafter, Alfa filed a "Motion to Realign Parties" in which it asked to "opt out" of the litigation. Without explaining the findings on which its decision was based, the trial court denied Alfa's motion. The Alabama Supreme Court concluded after a review of the record, that Alfa has demonstrated a clear legal right to have its motion to realign the parties granted and to allow it to opt out of the underlying litigation. No authority is cited requiring that, in order to make the permitted election, Alfa must first release the right of subrogation to which it was also clearly entitled.