Pruitt v. AAA Interstate Transportation

Supreme Court of Alabama

Walker County | No. 1200666 | Jan. 21, 2022

Court Dismisses Case Against AAA Citing Lack of Personal Jurisdiction in Alabama

AAA, a transportation-logistics company based in Colorado, was contracted in 2018 by Michels Machinery Co., Inc. to transport a crane truck from Oklahoma to Nevada. Later, Michels sold the crane truck to Jimmy's Construction & Maintenance, Inc., an Alabama-based company. While transporting the crane truck from Nevada to Alabama, the Pruitts suffered severe injuries due to a tire malfunction. Initially, the Pruitts filed a complaint against Jimmy's, Michels, and State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company but later included AAA as a defendant. They alleged AAA was negligent in the maintenance or inspection of the crane truck.

AAA contested the jurisdiction of Alabama courts to hear the case, citing no direct business ties with the state. Despite the Pruitts pointing to AAA's nationwide scope and previous Alabama-based jobs, the court ruled that these contacts were insufficient to subject AAA to jurisdiction in Alabama. Specifically, AAA's involvement with the crane truck – transporting it from Oklahoma to Nevada – lacked any meaningful connection to Alabama. The court granted AAA's motion and dismissed the Pruitts' claims against AAA for lack of personal jurisdiction. The Pruitts appealed this decision, but the higher court affirmed the circuit court's judgment.

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