Taylor v. Methodist Home for the Aging d/b/a Fair Haven, et al.Annotate this Case
Angelia Taylor, as personal representative of the Estate of Willie Latham, appealed the denial by operation of law of her Rule 59(e), Ala. R. Civ. P., motion seeking to vacate an arbitration award entered in favor of Methodist Home for the Aging d/b/a Fair Haven and its administrator, Maria Ephraim (collectively, "Fair Haven"). While a resident, Latham fell and broke her hip. Latham was eventually transported to a hospital for surgery, and she died a few days later. In November 2019, Taylor, as the personal representative of Latham's estate, filed a wrongful-death action under the Alabama Medical Liability Act of 1987. In December 2019, Fair Haven moved to compel arbitration pursuant to an arbitration agreement Latham had signed. The parties filed a joint stipulation to submit the case to arbitration, and in February 2020 the circuit court entered an order compelling arbitration. In November 2021, an arbitrator issued a final award in favor of Fair Haven. A month later, Taylor filed a notice of appeal. Thereafter, she filed a motion to set aside or vacate the arbitration award. In response, Fair Haven filed a motion for the entry of a final judgment. On February 2, 2022, the circuit court entered an order noting that the purported postjudgment motions were not ripe, because the circuit clerk had not entered the arbitration award as a final judgment. On February 22, 2022, the circuit clerk entered the arbitration award as a final judgment. Taylor's motion to vacate was denied by operation of law 90 days later, on May 23, 2022. The Alabama Supreme Court concluded Taylor failed to demonstrate a recognized basis under 9 U.S.C. § 10 for vacating the arbitration award; the denial by operation of law of her Rule 59 motion to vacate the arbitration award was therefore affirmed.