Southeastern Commercial Printing Corp. v. Sallas

575 So. 2d 1151 (1991)

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Southeastern Commercial Printing Corp. v. Sallas

Alabama Court of Civil Appeals
575 So. 2d 1151 (1991)

Facts

In 1987 Nellie Sallas (plaintiff) was an employee of Southeastern Commercial Printing Corp. (Southeastern) (defendant). Sallas had a seventh-grade education and worked manual labor jobs in the past. In September and October 1987, Sallas suffered two back injuries while working at Southeastern. Sallas returned to work for about two months. Sallas’s wages were increased temporarily. During this time, Sallas experienced extreme pain that required injections in her back and frequent periods of rest. Sallas was restricted to light duty and only returned to work on the advice of the company’s physician. In March 1988, Sallas filed for workers’-compensation benefits. At the hearing, a doctor testified that Sallas was totally impaired, and the doctor restricted the time Sallas could sit, stand, or walk. After a hearing, the trial court found that Sallas had suffered an injury due to an accident arising out of and in the course of her employment with Southeastern. The trial court determined that Sallas’s postinjury earnings were unreliable for determining earning capacity and that Sallas suffered a 100 percent permanent total disability that precluded her from performing her trade or obtaining reasonably gainful employment. The trial court awarded permanent total-disability benefits and attorney’s fees. Southeastern appealed, arguing that Sallas did not sustain a loss of earning capacity, no reasonable view of the evidence could support the finding that Sallas was totally disabled and unable to secure reasonably gainful employment, and the weekly value of benefits should have been reduced.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Robertson, J.)

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