Claimants Must Continue to Satisfy Arising Out of Test
On April 17, 2009, the Court of Civil Appeals released its opinion in Lana Brown v. Patsy Patton d/b/a Korner Store. You can find a summary of the holding on our Blawg under the causation category (see categories listed in column on right). Since the release of this opinion, it has been routinely cited by attorneys as binding law that claimants no longer have to prove that their injuries arose out of their employment. However, it is an unpublished opinion and, therefore, not yet binding authority. the reason being that the employer filed a petition for a writ of certiorari with the Supreme Court which was granted. As a result, the Court of Civil Appeals did not enter a certificate of judgment pursuant to Rule 41 of the Alabama Rules of Appellate Procedure. Therefore, until the Supreme Court releases its opinion, the decision by the Court of Civil Appeals, which arguably does away with the "arising out of" portion of legal causation cannot be considered legal precedent.
Until the Supreme Court rules one way or the other the Lana Brown case is not the law in Alabama. As a result, claimants must continue to prove that their injuries occurred in the course of their employment and that their injuries arose out of their employment.