• Dedicated to
    Personal Service

    At my firm, you will work directly with me the entire duration of your case.

    One-on-One Attention
  • Commitment to
    Excellence

    I strive to provide the best possible representation to each one of my clients.

    Meet Stephen F. Thompson
  • Free Initial
    Consultation

    You have nothing to lose. Contact my firm today and learn how we can help you.

    Get Started Now

Entrekin v. Lasseter No. 2140160

Court of Civil Appeals of Alabama

June 26, 2015

Plaintiff filed a claim for benefits pursuant to the Alabama Workers’ Compensation Act, resulting from an injury to his thoracic spine. Plaintiff settled his claim for workers’ compensation benefits, but did not settle his entitlement to future medical treatment. The settlement agreement specifically listed the thoracic spine at T-11 and T-8 as the locale of plaintiff’s injury, and expressly limited future medical treatment to that area of plaintiff’s spine.

After entry of the settlement agreement, plaintiff sought treatment for epidural pain injections in plaintiff’s lumbar spine. Defendant had authorized lumbar injections prior to the settlement agreement, but, did not provide authorization for said treatment after entry of the settlement agreement, citing the specific language regarding treatment only to plaintiff’s thoracic spine. Plaintiff filed a motion to compel medical treatment, which was granted by the Etowah County Circuit Court. Defendant appealed to the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals.

The Alabama Court of Civil Appeals discussed the parole evidence rule, and a handful of cases cited by the plaintiff, each of which were found to be distinguishable from plaintiff’s matter. Plaintiff’s treating physician could not relate the condition at plaintiff’s lumbar spine to the work-related injury in plaintiff’s thoracic spine, and instead noted degenerative changes.

Even though the defendant had paid for lumbar injections prior to the settlement agreement, the four corners of the settlement document reveal an agreement that the thoracic spine would be the only area subject to future medical benefits. The Court of Civil Appeals reversed the trial court, stating “we note that it would be unreasonable and impractical to require an employer entering into a settlement agreement to specifically exclude responsibility for future medical expenses for each part of the body for which it does not agree to be held liable.”

Categories: Workers' Compensation
  • Dedicated to
    Personal Service

    At my firm, you will work directly with me the entire duration of your case.

    One-on-One Attention
  • Commitment to
    Excellence

    I strive to provide the best possible representation to each one of my clients.

    Meet Stephen F. Thompson
  • Free Initial
    Consultation

    You have nothing to lose. Contact my firm today and learn how we can help you.

    Get Started Now

Contact Us

Stephen F. Thompson, Jr., Attorney at Law
Birmingham Attorney
Located at: 205 20th St. N.,
Suite 319,

Birmingham, AL 35203
View Map
Phone: (205) 386-3356
Website:
© 2017 All Rights Reserved.

Disclaimer

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.