Alabama Workers' Comp Blawg

  • 06
  • Oct
  • 2008

FUTURE MEDICAL BENEFITS FOR RIGHT KNEE ARE SPECIFICALLY CLOSED IN SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT ... OR ARE THEY???

Matthew's Masonry Co. v. Aldridge, --- So.2d ----, 2008 WL 4445185 (Ala.Civ.App. 2008):

On December 12, 2000, the employer settled with the employee and closed everything except future medical benefits for the back.  The settlement language even went so far as to say that medical benefits for both knees were specifically closed.  In 2007, the employee sought treatment for his right knee.  He stated that it was a new problem related to the altered gait caused by his back problem and thus not specifically excluded by the 2000 settlement agreement.  The trial court agreed and ordered that the right knee be covered.  The Alabama Court of Civil Appeals reversed and remanded the matter back to the trial court stating that it failed to consider or address in its Order the issue of the effect of the specific language releasing the employer from liability for medical expenses relating to the right knee.  We will likely be seeing this one again on appeal.

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