Watson v. University of Alabama Health Services Foundation, P.C.
Homer Watson, as personal representative of the estate of Mary Fejeran, deceased, appealed the grant of summary judgment in a wrongful death action in favor of defendants the University of Alabama Health Services Foundation, P.C., and Graham C. Towns, M.D. The defendants filed a motion for a summary judgment pursuant to Rule 56, Ala. R. Civ. P., on the basis that Watson lacked the representative capacity to bring the wrongful-death action. In support of their summary judgment motion, the defendants attached a copy of a March 24, 2014, final-settlement order indicating that Watson had been discharged as the personal representative of Fejeran's estate. Watson moved the probate court to clarify its March 24, 2014, order or, alternatively, to correct a clerical error in the order pursuant to Rule 60(a), Ala. R. Civ. P. Watson specifically alleged in his motion to clarify and/or to correct that his petition for final settlement sought relief only for liability arising from estate-administration activities and that the petition did not seek closure of the estate or termination of his letters of administration. On the same day, the probate court entered an order, dated March 23, 2017, purporting to clarify and/or to correct its March 24, 2014, order. Based on review of the probate court’s “clarification,” the Alabama Supreme Court concluded Watson was legally discharged as personal representative of Fejeran's estate, lacked the representative capacity to bring the wrongful-death action, therefore the action was therefore a nullity. Accordingly, the summary judgment in favor of the defendants was affirmed. View "Watson v. University of Alabama Health Services Foundation, P.C." on Justia Law