Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company v. Stephen Dale Bush

Court of Civil Appeals of Alabama

Jefferson County | 160 So. 3d 787 | Aug. 22, 2014

Employee Awarded Permanent Total Disability Benefits

This 2014 case involved an appeal by Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. ("employer") after being ordered to pay permanent-total-disability benefits to its employee, Stephen Dale Bush ("employee") under the Alabama Workers' Compensation Act. The employee claimed he had sustained a knee injury when he fell at work.

The employer appealed on various grounds, such as refusal to approve a settlement agreed by the parties, the adequacy of the notice provided by the employee about the accident, and whether the injury resulted in the employee being permanently and totally disabled. 

The appellate court upheld the trial court’s finding that the employee had adequately notified the employer of the accident and the injury and that the injury resulted in permanent total disability. However, the court also found that the trial court erred in basing compensation on vocational disability without first deciding whether an exception to the 'schedule' applied. The court also reversed the trial court's decision to apply a 15% penalty against the employer, as there was a good-faith dispute over the employer's liability for the accident.

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