AL: Accident Report Held Privileged Under “Work Product” Rule

In a split decision, the Supreme Court of Alabama recently held that a post-accident investigation report, prepared by a safety director and a co-worker and provided to the employer’s corporate health director and also to its in-house counsel was privileged under the work product rule; production of the document could not be compelled in a civil action that an employee and spouse had filed against the employer for injuries and damages sustained in a workplace accident. The majority of the high court reversed a trial court’s order that had compelled release of the report.  The majority indicated that while the anticipation of litigation may not have been the only reason behind the preparation of the report, it was a significant reason for producing it. 

Reported by Thomas A. Robinson, J.D.

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance. Bracketed citations link to lexis.com.

See Ex parte Schnitzer Steel Indus., Inc. (Jackson), 2013 Ala. LEXIS 131 (Sept. 27, 2013) [2013 Ala. LEXIS 131 (Sept. 27, 2013)]

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 127.11 [127.11]

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law.

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