Ex parte DuBOSE Construction Company

Supreme Court of Alabama

Montgomery County | 92 So.3d 49 | March 16, 2012

Procedural Dispute over Knee Injury and Permanent Partial Disability

James Simmons, an employee of DuBose Construction, sustained an injury to his right knee at work, which led to two surgeries and eventually affected his ability to work physically. He sued DuBose Construction in the Montgomery Circuit Court seeking workers' compensation benefits. The trial court found that Simmons had suffered a permanent partial disability and loss of 15% of his earning ability, and awarded benefits accordingly.

DuBose Construction appealed to the Court of Civil Appeals, arguing that Simmons was only entitled to lesser benefits allowed for the loss of use of a leg. The Court of Civil Appeals remanded the case to the trial court for specific findings on the extent of Simmons’s injury but the latter dismissed the case.  Simmons moved the trial court to set aside this order but it was eventually denied and this led to a long procedural dispute.

Eventually, the Court of Civil Appeals directed the trial court to rule on the remand whilst DuBose Construction petitioned the Supreme Court of Alabama to mandate the Court of Civil Appeals to vacate its order. The Supreme Court denied the petition at the end as it found the trial court's order to dismiss Simmons's case was void due to it being outside the scope of the remand order.

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