Jasper Water Works and Sewer Board, Inc.
Jerry G. Dunn
from Walker Circuit Court (CV-14-900415)
Water Works and Sewer Board, Inc. ("the employer"),
appeals from a judgment entered in favor of Jerry G. Dunn
("the employee") by the Walker Circuit Court
pursuant to the Alabama Workers' Compensation Act
("the Act"), § 25-5-1 et seq., Ala. Code 1975.
neither party has raised the issue of this court's
jurisdiction over this appeal, jurisdictional matters are of
such magnitude that this court is permitted to notice a lack
of jurisdiction ex mero motu. See Reeves v.
State, 882 So.2d 872, 874 (Ala. Civ. App. 2003).
judgment reads, in pertinent part:
"9. The Court finds that the [employee] has incurred
certain medical expenses related to his on-the-job
injury and said expenses are reasonable and necessary and are
directly a result of his on-the-job injury while working for
[the employer], and shall be paid by the [employer]."
circuit court did not specify the amount of damages for the
employee's past medical expenses; therefore, we dismiss
the employer's appeal as having been taken from a
nonfinal judgment. See Ex parte Baptist Health Sys.,
Inc., 966 So.2d 920, 923 (Ala. 2007) ("Because the
trial court in this case has not specified the amount of
damages to be awarded to [the employee] for past medical
expenses, the trial court has not rendered a final judgment
that will support an appeal.").
supreme court has explained:
"'"An appeal will ordinarily lie only from a
final judgment; that is, a judgment that conclusively
determines the issues before the court and ascertains and
declares the rights of the parties." Palughi v.
Dow, 659 So.2d 112, 113 (Ala. 1995). For a judgment to
be final, it must put an end to the proceedings and leave
nothing for further adjudication. Ex parte Wharfhouse
Rest. & Oyster Bar, Inc., 796 So.2d 316, 320 (Ala.
2001). "[W]ithout a final judgment, this Court is
without jurisdiction to hear an appeal." Cates v.
Bush, 293 Ala. 535, 537, 307 So.2d 6, 8 (1975).'
"Hamilton v. Connally, 959 So.2d 640, 642 (Ala.
"This Court has noted:
"'[I]t must be remembered that "[d]amages are
[an element] of a claim to vindicate a legal right."
Grantham v. Vanderzyl, 802 So.2d 1077, 1080 (Ala.
"'"Where the amount of damages is an issue, ...
the recognized rule of law in Alabama is that no appeal will
lie from a judgment which does not adjudicate that issue by
ascertainment of the amount of those damages." Moody
v. State ex rel. Payne, 351 So.2d 547, 551 (Ala. 1977).
"That a judgment is not final when the amount of damages
has not been fixed by it is unquestionable."
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