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Friedman Attorneys Obtain Summary Judgment in Wrongful Death Case

After four years of litigation, Mike Bowling and Joe Kerr obtained summary judgment in a wrongful death case arising out of a tragic industrial accident in Dallas County, Alabama.

The Estate of the deceased laundry worker filed suit against six co-employees and two affiliated business entities, including a parent corporation and a management company for the industrial facility.

After obtaining dismissals on behalf of the respective co-employees and management company, the parties engaged in extensive discovery and depositions concerning a duty owed by a parent corporation to provide a safe work place for employees of its subsidiaries. The parent corporation was exposed to substantial risk given that the Court had ruled it was afforded no protection under the Exclusivity Provision of Alabama's Workers Compensation Act.

Ultimately, the Court recognized that parent corporations, by their very nature, exert a manner of control, provide capital, and services to their subsidiary corporations. These factors, standing alone, do not amount to the assumption of a voluntary duty to keep a safe work place.

The finding is consistent with Alabama's recognition of the parent/subsidiary corporate form and follows a consistent line of case law dictated by the Alabama Supreme Court. The Dallas County Circuit Court did not recognize an expansion of the assumption of a voluntary duty outside the specific and unique facts defined in Whisenant v. Gulf States Steel, as proffered by the Plaintiff.

Contributing Author:

J. Michael Bowling
J. Michael Bowling, Shareholder
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Direct Line 205-278-7070
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Joesph L. Kerr, Jr.
Joesph L. Kerr, Jr.
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Direct Line 205-278-7006


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