Dollar Tree Stores, Inc. v. Cindy Ates 296

Court of Civil Appeals of Alabama

Mobile County | 160 So. 3d 296 | Feb. 21, 2014

Employer Challenged a Trial Court Judgment Awarding the Employee Permanent-Total-Disability Benefits

The case Dollar Tree Stores, Inc. v. Cindy Ates was an appeal by Dollar Tree Stores against a judgment from the Mobile Circuit Court awarding Cindy Ates, the employee, permanent total disability benefits pursuant to the Alabama Workers' Compensation Act. The trial court found that the employee had sustained a work-related left-knee injury leading to multiple surgeries, including a total knee replacement, hip pain, and back pain, causing permanent total disability.

The employer argued in their appeal that the trial court had wrongfully awarded the disability benefits partly based on its finding that the employer had violated the trial court’s mediation order. The court of appeals agreed with the employer, stating that the contempt findings should not influence the determination of liability and benefits due to the employee. The judgment of the trial court was reversed and remanded for a new judgment that separately addresses the workers’ compensation claim and any sanction imposed for the violation of the mediation order.

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