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Alabama: Employer Need Not Provide Walk-In Bathtub

August 29, 2014 (1 min read)

An Alabama appellate court held that under the particular facts of the case, a walk-in bathtub was not “other apparatus” reasonably necessary for treating an employee’s injury (see Ala. Code § 25-5-77(a)) in spite of one physician’s statement that the special tub would be helpful for the permanently injured employee.  Reversing a trial court decision, the appellate court held that the employer did not have to pay for the tub’s installation in the injured workers’ home.  The appellate court noted the cost of the tub and modifications to the home would have been $18,500, whereas a special bench providing essentially the same benefit could be purchased for a bit more than $100.  The court disregarded the worker’s contention that the special bath would assist in a special exercise regime, noting that evidence tended to show that the tub would be too small to allow considerable movement and that one medical expert indicated the special tub would not provide any significant benefit. The court stressed that it was not concluding that a walk-in tub could never meet the definition of “other apparatus,” merely that the evidence in the case had failed to establish compensability of it here.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is a leading commentator and expert on the law of workers’ compensation.

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis 

See Flanagan Lumber Co. v. Tennison, 2014 Ala. Civ. App. LEXIS 157 (Aug. 22, 2014) 

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 94.03 

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