NONRESIDENT ALIEN DEPENDENTS NOT ENTITLED TO DEATH BENEFITS
Reynalda Alanis Duran et al. v. Goff Group:
On February 6, 2009, the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals considered the issue of whether or not nonresident alien dependents were entitled to workers’ compensation death benefits. The Court affirmed the trial court’s ruling that such dependents were not so entitled because according to Ala. Code § 25-5-82: "Compensation for the death of an employee shall be paid only to dependents who, at the time of the death of the injured employee, were actually residents of the United States. No right of action to recover damages for the death of an employee shall exist in favor or for the benefit of any person who was not a resident of the United States at the time of the death of such employee." Although the dependents appealed on the grounds that the law was in contravention to equal-protection and due-process guaranties contained in the United States Constitution, The Court of Appeals held that nonresident aliens were not entitled to invoke those constitutional guaranties on their own behalf.