Alabama Workers' Comp Blawg

  • 27
  • Oct
  • 2008

RACIALLY MOTIVATED ATTACK DEEMED NOT COMPENSABLE

Ex parte N.J.J., --- So.2d ----, 2008 WL 4687088 (Ala. 2008):

In this opinion released on October 24, 2008, the employee sustained physical and psychological injury when she was physically and sexually assaulted by two men previously unknown to her. The evidence revealed that the assault was racially motivated. Since the reasons for the attack were "personal" and not due to "the employment," the trial court ruled in favor of the employer. The Alabama Court of Civil Appeals upheld the trial court ruling. The Alabama Supreme Court granted certiorari, held oral argument, and then quashed the writ leaving the trial court ruling to stand. Justice Cobb released a lengthy dissenting opinion based on the fact that the employee’s workplace created an increased risk of attack and, therefore, it should have been considered a compensable accident.

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