Majority Reverses Mental Anguish Award for Breach of Employment Contract; Decides Question of First Impression

In Carraway Methodist Health Systems v. Wise, No. 1041483 (Ala. Nov. 30, 2007), a majority of the Alabama Supreme Court reversed a jury’s $500,000 mental anguish award for breach of an employment contract.  Although the trial court found the facts surrounding the breach sufficiently egregious to submit the damages issue to the jury, the majority of the Court found that the Wise case was not “’the case’ in which we should recognize the availability of mental-anguish damages arising out of a breach of an employment contract.”  Chief Justice Cobb dissented from this part of the opinion.


Chief Justice Cobb proposed that the Court adopt the framework that the Mississippi Supreme Court recently announced for awarding damages for mental anguish in a breach of contract case.  Chief Justice Cobb would have affirmed the award of damages for mental anguish in this case. 


The Court also addressed a question of first impression in Wise regarding the Alabama Nonprofit Act.