Appeal from Franklin Circuit Court. (CV-92-208)
Thigpen, Judge. Robertson, P.j., and Yates, Monroe, and Crawley, JJ., concur.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Thigpen
This is a workmen's compensation case. *fn1
Amy W. Roper filed a complaint in June 1992, alleging that she had been permanently disabled as a result of an injury she suffered in June 1991, while acting in the line and scope of her employment with Golden Poultry Company, Inc. (Golden). Golden answered, denying Roper's allegations. Following are tenus proceedings, the trial court found that Roper had sustained a 60% loss of ability to earn. Golden filed a post-judgment motion, contending that the order failed to contain the statutory requirements regarding statements of law, facts, and Conclusions, and that the judgment was contrary to the evidence. Golden subsequently filed a brief in support of its post-judgment motion, which included, among other things, a report and excerpts of a deposition of an occupational therapist. Roper filed a motion to strike certain evidence, contending that Golden had attempted to present in its brief certain deposition evidence that had not been introduced at trial, and that it was attempting to present only a selected portion of the deposition testimony. The trial court granted Roper's motion and denied Golden's post-judgment motion regarding the extent of the disability, but amended its judgment to add certain findings of fact and Conclusions of law. Golden appeals.
Golden presents four issues: (1) whether the trial court erred by making no findings of fact or Conclusions of law regarding whether a second injury had occurred and, if a second injury had occurred, whether that second injury was a new injury or was an aggravation or reoccurrence of a prior injury, (2) whether any reasonable view of the evidence supports the trial court's finding that Roper had suffered a 60% loss of ability to earn, (3) whether the trial court erred by failing to consider certain evidence, and (4) whether the trial court erred in calculating Roper's average weekly wage.
Initially, we note that our review in a workmen's compensation case is a two-step process, i.e., we must first determine whether there is any legal evidence to support the trial court's findings, and, if so, whether any reasonable view of that evidence supports the trial court's judgment. Ex parte Eastwood Foods, Inc., 575 So. 2d 91 (Ala. 1991). Further, "where one reasonable view of the evidence supports the trial court's judgment, the judgment must be upheld, even if another, perhaps better reasoned, view of the evidence might have dictated a different outcome." Ex parte Veazey, 637 So. 2d 1348, 1349 (Ala. 1993).
In its original judgment, the trial court stated that it "hereby finds that as a result of bi-lateral hand pain, or tendinitis in both hands and wrists suffered while employed by the defendant, [Roper] has suffered a sixty percent (60%) loss of ability to earn." (Emphasis added.) Further, in its amended judgment, the trial court found, in relevant part:
"1. The parties have stipulated that the only issue for the Court is the nature and extent of Plaintiff's disability, if any.
"3. [Roper] reached maximum medical improvement on or about October 7, 1993.
"4. [Roper] has suffered a sixty percent (60%) loss of ability to earn a living as a direct consequence of her on-the-job injury at [Golden's] Plant, which injury occurred on or about June 24, 1991.
"5. That [Roper] is entitled to accrued benefits from October 7, 1993 through June 12, 1994, or 35 ...