Sometimes, our Court of Civil Appeals issues a decision that creates a little “buzz.” This is what happened last week when the Court released the workers’ compensation decision in Alabama Forestry Products v. Harris. Usually, I read the decisions when released (or at least over the weekend after the release). This time I did not. I was busy briefing an expert witness issue. So, the phone call Monday morning from Work Comp Central asking my thoughts on Friday’s decision came as a surprise.
What’s the big deal with this case? It’s a big deal because the decision protects the right to medical treatment under Alabama’s Workers’ Compensation Act. And, it applies to working families.
I’ve written numerous articles about the impact of severe personal injuries on entire families. Entire families are altered as they adapt their lives to care for the hurt member. In many of our past cases, a spouse or parent had to quit their own job to care for a disabled loved one. So, how does this case protect medical benefits and promote families?