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Ex parte Fairfield Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, LLC

Supreme Court of Alabama

May 29, 2015

Ex parte Fairfield Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, LLC, et al. In re: Myrtis Hill
v.
Fairfield Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, LLC, et al.

          (Jefferson Circuit Court, Bessemer Division, CV-06-1266).

         MAIN, Justice. Stuart, Bolin, Parker, Wise, and Bryan, JJ., concur. Moore, C.J., and Murdock and Shaw, JJ., dissent.

          OPINION

Page 924

         PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDAMUS

         MAIN, Justice.

         Fairfield Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, LLC (" Fairfield" ); D& N, LLC (" D& N" ); DTD HC, LLC (" DTD" ); Aurora Cares, LLC (alleged to be doing business, and herein sometimes referred to, as " Tara Cares" ); and Aurora Healthcare, LLC (" Aurora" ) (hereinafter sometimes referred to collectively as " the defendants" ), petition this Court for a writ of mandamus, directing the trial court to vacate its February 6, 2015, order denying their " Motion to Quash Depositions and Motion for Protective Order, and Motion to Reconsider January 30, 2015[,] Order." [1] The defendants also request that we direct the trial court to grant their motion. We grant the petition and issue the writ.

         I. Facts and Procedural History[2]

         On September 25, 2006, Myrtis Hill

Page 925

(" Hill" )[3] filed an action in the Jefferson Circuit Court, Bessemer Division, against Fairfield; D& N; DTD; Donald T. Denz (" Denz" ); Norbert A. Bennett (" Bennett" ); Tara Cares; and Aurora.[4] In the complaint, Hill asserted:

" 4. In May 2006 ... Hill ... was a patient at [Fairfield]. At the time of admittance[,] [Fairfield] undertook and agreed to provide [Hill] with all necessary and proper care for [Hill's] physical health, and medical needs.
" 5. On [Hill's] admittance to [Fairfield], [Hill] had no broken bones.
" 6. On May 10, 2006, ... Hill ... suffered a broken leg while under the care of [a Fairfield] employee, [who,] while attempting to transfer [Hill to a bedside commode], negligently dropped her to the floor thereby breaking [Hill's] right leg and causing severe injury to both of her legs.
" 7. Upon information and belief, Defendants, their employees, and assigns negligently used said lift in attempting to lower [Hill,] thereby deviating from their own safety rules as well as those imposed by state and federal regulations."

         In addition to the medical-negligence claim, Hill also stated a claim of " breach of contract/piercing the corporate veil." [5]

         Between August 2009 and October 2009, Hill deposed, among other persons, Chance Becnel, the corporate representative of Tara Cares; Denz, the corporate representative of both DTD and Aurora; and Bennett, the corporate representative of D& N.[6] Hill also deposed Denz and Bennett in their individual capacities in 2009; additionally, Hill deposed 14 Fairfield employees and 2 other Tara Cares employees.

         The defendants moved the trial court for a summary judgment; after holding a hearing, the trial court denied the motion. Subsequently, the defendants moved the trial court to " reconsider" its denial of their ...


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