FINDING OF CAUSATION IN STROKE CASE REVERSED
Dollar General Corporation v. Patricia Nelson:
On July 2, 2009, the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals released this opinion in which it reversed the trial court’s finding that the employee’s stroke was caused by her employment. At trial, the evidence revealed that the employee worked between 70 and 80 hours per week. On the day of her stroke, she came in early and scheduled other employees to do the same. They needed to be there early to load a truck. When the truck driver called and said he had been delayed due to being pulled over by the police, the employee testified that she had reached her stress limit. It was at that point that she began to experience the symptoms of a stroke. The evidence also revealed that the employee had high blood pressure, problems with family members, problems with relationships, and anxiety. In reversing the trial court, the Court of Civil Appeals noted that the employee failed to prove that she was exposed to a danger or risk materially in excess of that danger to which all persons are ordinarily exposed in their everyday lives. As such, she failed to prove legal causation.