Flesher v. Saginaw Div., General Motors Corp.

CourtAlabama Court of Civil Appeals
Writing for the CourtROBERTSON; CRAWLEY; CRAWLEY
Citation689 So.2d 113
Decision Date01 November 1996
PartiesDonald Bruce FLESHER v. SAGINAW DIVISION, GENERAL MOTORS CORPORATION. 2951082.

Page 113

689 So.2d 113
Donald Bruce FLESHER
v.
SAGINAW DIVISION, GENERAL MOTORS CORPORATION.
2951082.
Court of Civil Appeals of Alabama.
Nov. 1, 1996.
Rehearing Denied Dec. 6, 1996.
Certiorari Denied March 14, 1997
Alabama Supreme Court 1960448.

William D. Davis III of Davis, Dorin, Curtis & Neil, Birmingham, for appellant.

Page 114

J. Glynn Tubb and Jenny L. McLeroy of Eyster, Key, Tubb, Weaver & Roth, Decatur, for appellee.

ROBERTSON, Presiding Judge.

On September 29, 1995, Donald Bruce Flesher filed a complaint against his employer, Saginaw Division, General Motors Corporation, in the Limestone County Circuit Court, seeking workers' compensation benefits. Flesher alleged that while acting in the line and scope of his employment he had been consistently exposed to hazardous chemicals, with his last exposure occurring on May 10, 1995, and that his consistent exposure had rendered him permanently and totally disabled. On October 18, 1995, Saginaw answered, asserting the affirmative defenses of the statute of limitations and lack of notice.

On February 16, 1996, Saginaw filed a motion for a summary judgment, along with a supporting affidavit and a memorandum brief. On March 18, 1996, Flesher filed a response in opposition to the summary judgment motion, filing with the response supporting affidavits and documents. On May 8, 1996, the trial court entered a summary judgment for Saginaw, holding that Flesher's claim had arisen on March 12, 1992, and that his action was therefore barred by the two-year limitations period of § 25-5-80, Ala.Code 1975.

Flesher appeals. He argues that the two years allowed by the statute of limitations began to run from the date of his last exposure, not his initial exposure.

A summary judgment is proper when "the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Rule 56(c)(3), Ala.R.Civ.P. The burden is on the movant to show that there exists no genuine issue of material fact; however, once a party moving for a summary judgment makes a prima facie showing that no genuine issue of material fact exists, then the burden shifts to the nonmovant to rebut the prima facie showing. McClendon v. Mountain Top Indoor Flea Market, Inc., 601 So.2d 957 (Ala.1992). Additionally, this court's review of legal issues in workers' compensation cases is without a presumption of correctness. § 25-5-81(e)(1), Ala.Code 1975.

The record reveals the following facts. On March 12, 1992, Flesher inhaled fumes of an unknown origin that caused him to suffer a headache, a burning sensation in the back of his throat, and vomiting. Flesher promptly reported the incident and was treated by Saginaw's plant physician. Flesher reported similar symptoms and was again treated by the plant physician on March 16, 23, and 26, 1992.

Flesher reported to Saginaw's medical department on January 23, 1993, complaining of nausea from inhalation of smoke and fumes. Flesher continued working until June 1994, when the plant physician diagnosed him as having depression and anxiety, placed him on Prozac, and took him off work because of his "nerves"; he remained off work until January 1995. From June 1994 until January 1995, Flesher was paid disability payments pursuant to his long-term disability policies. On February 16, 1995, he suffered a severe reaction to chemical fumes that caused him to be taken to the emergency room at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital. During his treatment in Birmingham, Flesher learned that he had had an allergic reaction to chemicals at Saginaw's plant. Flesher returned to work on May 8, 1995. Flesher worked May 8, 9, and 10, 1995; however, on May 10, 1995, he suffered another severe reaction to fumes that caused the plant nurse to place him on oxygen and that required that he leave the plant. That day was his last day of work at Saginaw's plant.

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4 practice notes
  • Dillard v. Calvary Assembly of God, 2210341
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Civil Appeals
    • September 23, 2022
    ...case is without a presumption of correctness. See § 25-5-81(e)(1), Ala. Code 1975, and Flesher v. Saginaw Div., Gen. Motors Corp., 689 So.2d 113 (Ala. Civ. App. 1996). In Bailey v. R.E. Garrison Trucking Co., 834 So.2d 122, 123 (Ala. Civ. App. 2002), this court reviewed a summary judgment i......
  • McGhee v. International Paper Co., No. 2971185.
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Civil Appeals
    • February 26, 1999
    ...compensation case is without a presumption of correctness. Ala. Code 1975, § 25-5-81; Flesher v. Saginaw Div., General Motors Corp., 689 So.2d 113 "Temporary total disability refers to `the healing period during which an employee is recovering and unable to work.'" Ex parte Moncrief, 627 So......
  • Walker v. Flagstar Enterprises, Inc., 2060128.
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Civil Appeals
    • September 21, 2007
    ...case is without a presumption of correctness. See § 25-5-81(e)(1), Ala.Code 1975, and Flesher v. Saginaw Div., Gen. Motors Corp., 689 So.2d 113 (Ala.Civ.App.1996). In Bailey v. R.E. Garrison Trucking Co., 834 So.2d 122, 123 (Ala.Civ.App.2002), this court reviewed a summary judgment in a wor......
  • Jackson v. Delphi Automotive Systems, No. 2080990 (Ala. Civ. App. 1/8/2010), No. 2080990.
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Civil Appeals
    • January 8, 2010
    ...case is without a presumption of correctness. See § 25-5-81 (e) (1), Ala. Code 1975, and Flesher v. Saginaw Div., Gen. Motors Corp., 689 So. 2d 113 (Ala. Civ. App. 1996). In Bailey v. R.E. Garrison Trucking Co., 834 So. 2d 122, 123 (Ala. Civ. App. 2002), this court reviewed a summary judgme......
4 cases
  • Dillard v. Calvary Assembly of God, 2210341
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Civil Appeals
    • September 23, 2022
    ...case is without a presumption of correctness. See § 25-5-81(e)(1), Ala. Code 1975, and Flesher v. Saginaw Div., Gen. Motors Corp., 689 So.2d 113 (Ala. Civ. App. 1996). In Bailey v. R.E. Garrison Trucking Co., 834 So.2d 122, 123 (Ala. Civ. App. 2002), this court reviewed a summary judgment i......
  • McGhee v. International Paper Co., No. 2971185.
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Civil Appeals
    • February 26, 1999
    ...compensation case is without a presumption of correctness. Ala. Code 1975, § 25-5-81; Flesher v. Saginaw Div., General Motors Corp., 689 So.2d 113 "Temporary total disability refers to `the healing period during which an employee is recovering and unable to work.'" Ex parte Moncrief, 627 So......
  • Walker v. Flagstar Enterprises, Inc., 2060128.
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Civil Appeals
    • September 21, 2007
    ...case is without a presumption of correctness. See § 25-5-81(e)(1), Ala.Code 1975, and Flesher v. Saginaw Div., Gen. Motors Corp., 689 So.2d 113 (Ala.Civ.App.1996). In Bailey v. R.E. Garrison Trucking Co., 834 So.2d 122, 123 (Ala.Civ.App.2002), this court reviewed a summary judgment in a wor......
  • Jackson v. Delphi Automotive Systems, No. 2080990 (Ala. Civ. App. 1/8/2010), No. 2080990.
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Civil Appeals
    • January 8, 2010
    ...case is without a presumption of correctness. See § 25-5-81 (e) (1), Ala. Code 1975, and Flesher v. Saginaw Div., Gen. Motors Corp., 689 So. 2d 113 (Ala. Civ. App. 1996). In Bailey v. R.E. Garrison Trucking Co., 834 So. 2d 122, 123 (Ala. Civ. App. 2002), this court reviewed a summary judgme......

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