Appeal dismissed where there was still a claim for punitive damages pending

In Horn v. Brown, [Ms. 1061656] (Ala. Aug. 22, 2008), the Alabama Supreme Court dismissed an appeal as being from a non-final judgment where there remained a pending claim for punitive damages.

The plaintiff sued the defendant seeking a portion of a settlement of a civil action and sought compensatory and punitive damages.  The trial court granted the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment and awarded compensatory damages "with leave to prove punitive damages." 

The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal as being from a non-final judgment.  While the Court recognized the rule that "there is no such thing as a claim for punitive damages," there are claims which authorize the imposition of punitive damages.  The claims in the case allow for the imposition of punitive damages if the plaintiff meets her burden, so, the pendency of the request for punitive damages means that all claims had not been resolved.