Alabama Appellate Court Determines that Use of the Same Standard for the Left and the Right Made a Wrong
On January 4, 2018, the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals released its opinion in Enterprise Leasing Company –South Central, LLC v. Benson Drake. At trial, the employee claimed an initial left leg injury due to an accident and a subsequent right leg injury due to issues related to an altered gait. The trial court concluded that both legs were compensable but applied the lower substantial evidence standard to both. The Employer appealed.
On appeal, the Court of Civil Appeals reversed and remanded the trial court’s order with instructions to apply the higher “clear and convincing” standard to the subsequent right leg injury. Specifically, the Court instructed the trial court to review the evidence adduced at trial and determine whether or not the employee proved, by clear and convincing evidence, that his right leg injury was the direct and natural consequence of the left knee injury.
About the Author
This blog submission was prepared by Mike Fish, an attorney with Fish Nelson & Holden, LLC, a law firm dedicated to representing self-insured employers, insurance carriers, and third party administrators in all matters related to workers’ compensation. Fish Nelson & Holden is a member of the National Workers’ Compensation Defense Network. If you have any questions about this submission or Alabama workers’ compensation in general, please contact Fish by e-mailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling him directly at 205-332-1448.