EMPLOYER HELD TO BE PUT ON INQUIRY NOTICE WHEN COMPANY INFIRMARY STAFF IS MADE AWARE OF INFORMATION CONCERNING WORK INJURY
Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company v. Bobby Long:
On September 4, 2009, the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals released this opinion concerning the issue of notice. At trial, the plaintiff testified that he told his supervisor that "his knee was bothering him again" and asked that he be allowed to leave and go to the doctor. The trial court determined that proper notice was given. On appeal, the employer argued that the plaintiff’s general statement concerning a knee injury did not amount to adequate notice of a work injury. The Court of Appeals agreed that the statement made by the plaintiff, taken alone, did not constitute proper notice. However it affirmed the trial court because the plaintiff provided enough information to the staff at the company infirmary to put the employer on "inquiry notice." In other words, the employer had at least some information that his condition was related to his employment thus placing an affirmative duty on the employer to investigate the incident further.