Alabama: Compensation for Loss of Scheduled Member Exclusive Unless Effects of Injury Interfere With Body’s Efficiency

Alabama: Compensation for Loss of Scheduled Member Exclusive Unless Effects of Injury Interfere With Body’s Efficiency

Citing an earlier decision by the Supreme Court of Alabama wherein the state high court adopted “the Larson rule” regarding schedule allowances—that if the effects of the loss of the member extend to other parts of the body and interfere with their efficiency, the schedule allowance for the “lost member” is not exclusive and the claimant may be awarded disability for impairment to the body as a whole [see Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 87.02], an Alabama appellate court has reversed a trial court’s finding that an injured employee was entitled to disability benefits based on a 35% impairment to the body as a whole where the employee suffered separate injuries to her right wrist and right ankle. The court acknowledged that the employee was not required to show that the effects of her schedule injuries caused permanent disability to other parts of the body; it was sufficient to show that the injuries interfered with another body part’s functioning.  The employee’s testimony, however, failed to show that the effects of the injuries to the scheduled members extended to other parts of her body or interfered with the body's efficiency.

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 Advance. Bracketed citations link to lexis.com.

See American Cast Iron Pipe Co. v. Blackmon, 2014 Ala. Civ. App. LEXIS 62 (Apr. 11, 2014) [2014 Ala. Civ. App. LEXIS 62 (Apr. 11, 2014)]

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 87.02 [87.02]

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

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