193 F.3d 1212 (11th Cir. 1999), 99-11723, Wilson v Navistar Int'l Transportation

Docket Nº:99-11723
Citation:193 F.3d 1212
Party Name:JEFFREY EDWARD WILSON, ET AL., Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. NAVISTAR INTERNATIONAL TRANSPORTATION CORP., ET AL., Defendants-Appellees.
Case Date:October 26, 1999
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
 
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Page 1212

193 F.3d 1212 (11th Cir. 1999)

JEFFREY EDWARD WILSON, ET AL.,

Plaintiffs-Appellants,

v.

NAVISTAR INTERNATIONAL TRANSPORTATION CORP., ET AL.,

Defendants-Appellees.

No. 99-11723

IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF Appeals, FOR THE ELEVENTH CIRCUIT

October 26, 1999

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama D.C. Docket No. 98-00728-CV-J-NW

Before BLACK and CARNES, Circuit Judges, and GODBOLD, Senior Circuit Judge.

PER CURIAM:

We must decide whether we have jurisdiction over this appeal, which was not an appeal from final judgment and in which no Rule 54(b) certificate was granted at the time the appellants filed their notice of civil appeal. We hold that this court has jurisdiction over this appeal. We then must decide whether a state's substantive law or the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure govern the relation-back amendment of a fictitious defendant. We affirm the district court's application of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

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Jurisdiction over this Appeal

Absent some exception, we have jurisdiction over appeals only from final judgments of a district court. See 28 U.S.C. § 1291 (1994). When there are multiple parties in the case, the court can enter final judgment against fewer than all of the parties only if it certifies pursuant to Rule 54(b) that "there is no just reason for delay." Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(b); accord Schoenfeld v. Babbitt, 168 F.3d 1257, 1265 (11th Cir.1999).

Stephen Davidson and Kelly Davidson filed a product liability action against Navistar International Transportation Corp. and others including several fictitious defendants. The Davidsons amended their complaint to name Fontaine Co. as one of the fictitious defendants. On May 11, 1999 the district court granted Fontaine's motion to dismiss all claims against it. Other claims against other parties remained.

On June 8, 1999 the Davidsons filed a motion with the district court to certify the May 11 order as a final judgment under Rule 54(b). On June 10, 1999, the thirtieth day after May 11, the plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal from the order dismissing Fontaine. On June 14, 1999 the district court certified the May 11 order for immediate appeal. On July 1, 1999 the Davidsons filed a second notice of appeal. Fontaine incorrectly contends that the appeal should be dismissed because the appeal was filed before...

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