Charles v. Atkinson, No. 15-30775 (5th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs filed suit alleging that they were injured in a vehicle collision with Thomas Lee Atkinson, an employee of CFC. The district court granted summary judgment for CFC and its insurer, Amerisure. However, Atkinson remains in the litigation. The court held that, absent Rule 54(b) certification, either service or appearance by a named party will defeat appellate jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. 1291 if the claims involving that party are not addressed in the final judgment or prior order. Accordingly, although Atkinson has never appeared in this litigation, if he has been served, this court would lack jurisdiction under section 1291. Because it is unclear from the record whether Atkinson was ever served, the court remanded to the district court for the limited purpose of determining whether Atkinson has been served and entering an order stating its findings and conclusions as to service.