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Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. v. Bush

Alabama Court of Civil Appeals

August 22, 2014

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company
v.
Stephen Dale Bush

Released for Publication April 13, 2015.

Page 788

Appeal from Jefferson Circuit Court. (CV-12-902579). Tom King, Jr., Trial Judge.

For Appellant: Howard B. Warren of Turnbach, Warren, Lloyd, Frederick & Smith, P.C., Gadsden.

For Appellee: Wm. Dudley Motlow, Jr., and Ryan D. Wilson of Porterfield, Harper, Mills, Motlow & Ireland, P.A., Birmingham.

MOORE, Judge. Thompson, P.J., and Pittman, Thomas, and Donaldson, JJ., concur.

OPINION

Page 789

MOORE, Judge.

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company (" the employer" ) appeals from a judgment entered by the Jefferson Circuit Court (" the trial court" ) awarding Stephen Dale Bush (" the employee" ) permanent-total-disability benefits pursuant to the Alabama Workers' Compensation Act (" the Act" ), § 25-5-1 et seq., Ala. Code 1975. We affirm in part and reverse in part.

Procedural Background

On August 15, 2012, the employee filed a complaint seeking workers' compensation benefits on account of an alleged February 11, 2011, accidental injury to his right knee. The employer filed an answer denying that it had received notice of the accident and denying that the accident had caused the employee an injury for which he was entitled to benefits under the Act. The parties proceeded to trial on May 13, 2013. Following the trial, but before the entry of any judgment, the parties sought approval from the trial court of a settlement, which request the trial court denied after a hearing held on July 29, 2013. On July 31, 2013, the trial court issued a lengthy judgment containing extensive findings of fact and conclusions of law. In the judgment, the trial court found that the employee had injured his right knee in an accidental fall arising out of and in the course of his employment with the employer and that the employer had adequate notice of the accident. Based on the injury, the trial court awarded the employee permanent-total-disability benefits in a lump sum. The employer timely filed a postjudgment motion, which the trial court granted in part and denied in part, amending its judgment to remove any requirement that future compensation be paid in a lump sum and assessing a 15% statutory penalty against the employer on past-due compensation. See § 25-5-59(b), Ala. Code 1975. The employer filed a second postjudgment motion directed at the amended portions of the final judgment,[1] which the

Page 790

trial court granted in part and denied in part on October 29, 2013. The ...


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