From the Files of Powell and Denny
In this next blog “From the Files of Powell and Denny” I am revisiting the fact pattern we discussed in the first blog on April 1, 2022, and the wrongful termination case discussed.
In the previous blog, I briefly explained how our firm was fortunate enough to represent a 56-year-old professional truck driver who had suffered a torn rotator cuff injury while performing his job duties. In the last “From the Files” blog I discussed the wrongful termination lawsuit, but in this one I would like to review the workers compensation claim that was tried before the claim for retaliatory discharge was presented to the Court in Bessemer, AL.
To briefly recount the facts, our client was a 56-year-old professional truck driver who unfortunately suffered a torn rotator cuff injury while doing his job. Immediately after suffering his injury, our client notified his employer of his job injury and was sent to see a company doctor, but when his condition did not improve, he was sent to see Dr. Jeffrey Davis-and later he was also treated by Dr. Thomas Powell-both are orthopedic surgeons in Birmingham, Alabama.
Our client ended up having two surgeries to repair his injured shoulder, and within 90-days of suffering his job injury he was terminated, so we pursued claims for both workers’ compensation benefits and for our client’s wrongful termination.
After recovering from his two shoulder surgeries, Dr. Powell limited our client to no more than light duty work. Our position was that given our client’s age, education and his job experience and skills, such a permanent physical restriction meant that he was permanently disabled per Alabama’s Workers’ Compensation laws. The defendant argued that our client could still work as a driver and would not offer more than $20,000.00 to settle the case.
If you or a loved one works as a Professional Truck Driver, you know that the job can be quite strenuous, and being limited to light duty work essentially means that you cannot continue with your chosen career. At trial the defendant argued that there were plenty of light duty trucking jobs available, but we were able to show that according to the Dictionary of Occupational Titles, there are 42 different type of trucking jobs, and all but one are classified as medium or heavier. The defendant argued that “No Touch” jobs were abundant and available for our client, but on cross examination their vocational expert admitted that these job really are not always “No Touch.” If you are crossing State lines and there is a problem at the Weight Station, the driver is responsible to moving their freight around to meet requirements. Pre and Post Trip Inspections call for the driver to lift over 25 pounds and to be able to climb, crawl and squat, and if things are running late-all too often drivers are asked to lend a hand in unloading the freight.
The judge in Bessemer ruled that given his permanent restrictions, our client was no longer able to perform his job as a Professional Truck Driver, and given the amount of money he was able to earn in this profession, no other job was available that was anywhere similar to the amount of money our client earned prior to his job injury, and therefore he was entitled to permanent total disability benefits per Alabama Workers’ Compensation laws. Our client was awarded over $88,000.00 in back due benefits and received a weekly permanent total disability (ptd) check from his employer-and he was also awarded Social Security Disability benefits. Afterwards, we also hit his employer for a large wrongful termination verdict.
If you have suffered a work injury and have questions about your right to Alabama Workers’ Compensation benefits or Social Security Disability benefits, don’t hesitate to contact Powell and Denny and speak with one of the experienced workers compensation and wrongful termination lawyers and schedule a free consultation. Appointments are available in person, or virtually through Zoom for your convenience from wherever you live.
Powell and Denny: We Work When You Can’t
Offices in Birmingham, AL and Huntsville, AL
Alabama Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
Birmingham Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
Huntsville Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
North Alabama Workers Compensation Lawyers
Powell and Denny have been selected as one of the Best Law Firms by U.S. News and World Report for each of the last 9 years, have been selected as one of Birmingham’s Top Lawyers by B-Metro Magazine for the last 5 years, have been selected by The National Advocates as one of the Top 20 Workers’ Compensation Firms (plaintiffs) and Powell and Denny, P.C.-has been selected as one of the “Best of the Best” law firms by The American Registry.
Mr. Denny is AV rated by Martindale Hubbard (the highest rating possible) and Mr. Powell has been rated as Superior by The National Registry
+ Powell and Denny have successfully represented injured workers from Birmingham, Huntsville, Florence, Muscle Shoals, Tuscumbia, Athens, Decatur, Town Creek Ardmore, Hartselle, Madison, Toney, Scottsboro, Ft. Payne, New Hope, Guntersville, Albertville, Boaz, Ashville, Anniston, Gadsden, Cullman, Jasper, Gardendale, Morris, Kimberly, Centerpoint, Leeds, Tarrant City, Fairfield, Hueytown, Bessemer, Adger, Tuscaloosa, Cordova, Alabaster, Pelham, Harpersville, Opelika, Phenix City, Montgomery, Clanton, Calera, Enterprise, Monroeville, Mobile, Evergreen, Alabaster, Pelham, Trussville and towns and cities in between.
From the Files of Powell and Denny