Shareholder Brad A. Everhardt of Hill, Hill, Carter recently obtained a favorable decision from the Alabama Supreme Court in a case involving the application of state-agent immunity. The Plaintiff filed a lawsuit against a local Board of Education and several of its employees, alleging as a result of their negligence she sustained severe injuries after slipping and falling on ice that formed on an outdoor wooden walkway. Mr. Everhardt and Hill, Hill, Carter represented the Board of Education and the individual employees. After the Board of Education was dismissed from the lawsuit, the individual employees filed a motion for summary judgment. In their motion, the individual employees argued they were entitled to immunity from Plaintiff’s claims as state agents under Alabama Code §36-1-12 and the Alabama Supreme Court’s seminal decision in Ex Parte Cranman. The trial court agreed and granted the motion for summary judgment. The Plaintiff then pursued an appeal with the Alabama Supreme Court. In its decision, the Alabama Supreme Court upheld the trial court’s ruling which found the Board of Education’s employees were entitled to state agent immunity because they were exercising their judgment when deciding how or when to maintain the wooden walkway, and in supervising the maintenance personnel who did so.
This decision not only benefits the Board of Education and its employees, it helps to ensure the immunity protections provided by Alabama Code §36-1-12 and the Alabama Supreme Court’s seminal decision in Ex Parte Cranman are not slowly eroded but instead preserved for all Boards of Education and their employees in the State of Alabama. Hill, Hill, Carter congratulates Mr. Everhardt on his success in obtaining this very favorable decision.