Sanders v. Southern Risk Services

Decision Date07 August 1992
Citation603 So.2d 994
PartiesWilliam SANDERS v. SOUTHERN RISK SERVICES and Sherman Industries, Inc. 1902005.
CourtAlabama Supreme Court

Bill Thompson of Paden & Thompson, P.C., Bessemer, for appellant.

C. William Gladden of Balch & Bingham, Birmingham, for appellee Southern Risk Services.

Bruce F. Rogers of Bainbridge, Mims & Rogers, Birmingham, for appellee Sherman Industries, Inc.

ADAMS, Justice.

This is a collateral attack on a workman's compensation claim that had been settled by the parties on December 21, 1989. The plaintiff, William Sanders, sued Southern Risk Services and Sherman Industries, Inc., contending that he was discharged from his employment because he filed a workman's compensation claim, that he was denied rehabilitation expenses, and that a fraud was committed on him with regard to the computation of his workman's compensation benefits. The trial court entered a judgment for the defendants. We affirm.

At the outset, we note that the following settlement order was entered on December 21, 1989, with regard to the workman's compensation claim filed by Sanders against Sherman Industries:

"The undersigned being the only parties interested in the above entitled matter, hereby petition the Court for approval of the following agreement and settlement, and agree and represent to the Court as follows:

"....

"Employee and employer disagree as to what, if any, disability resulted to said employee from the accident on September 14, 1988. Employee says that he had a back injury on that date. Employer, while not disputing that the employee may have had a back injury, specifically disputes that any disability resulted from that injury. (See attached medical [reports] from Dr. Daniel Michael, St. Vincent's Outpatient Rehabilitation Center, and Dr. Steven R. Nichols.) Employee insists he has a permanent partial disability. The parties do not disagree that the medical records show that the treating physicians have decided that the employee has reached maximum medical improvement.

"At the time of injury, the said employee was receiving an average weekly wage of $150.00. The employee has received the sum of $7451.91 in temporary total disability benefits (representing 48 weeks and 4 days in these benefits, which ended on November 7, 1989) and in the interest of settlement, the employer agrees to pay and the employee agrees to accept the sum of $7500.00 in one lump sum in full settlement of any and all claims for compensation benefits due and rehabilitation or retraining benefits due under the Workmen's Compensation Act of the State of Alabama. The employer has paid all medical expenses incurred by the employee to date and shall be responsible for any medical or surgical expenses required by the Workmen's Compensation Act to be paid.

"This settlement is substantially in accordance with Ala.Code §§ 25-5-56 and 25-5-57 (1975), as amended. When payment hereunder has been made the employer shall be, and hereby is released from all claims on account of said injury, under said Act or otherwise. This settlement contains the whole agreement between the parties hereto."

The settlement petition was signed by Sanders and approved by the judge. Sanders filed no Rule 60(b), A.R.Civ.P., motion for relief from the order, nor did he follow the guidelines set forth in § 25-5-56, Code of Alabama 1975, for setting aside the order because of fraud. Nevertheless, Sanders filed the present action almost a year later, contending that Sherman had fraudulently misrepresented to him that his average weekly pay was $150 instead of $300, which he now claims was the correct amount. Even if Sherman's present action were not barred by the doctrine of res judicata, as the appellees claim, we would be compelled to affirm the judgment of the trial court. There is simply nothing in the record supporting Sanders's claim that his average weekly pay was, in fact, $300 and/or that Sherman fraudulently withheld that fact from him. 1

In addition, we note that Sanders's claim for rehabilitation expenses was addressed in the petition for settlement. In fact,...

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14 cases
  • Dillard's Inc. v. Gallups
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Civil Appeals
    • 10 Septiembre 2010
    ...subsequent retaliatory-discharge action arising out of the workers' compensation claim giving rise to the release. Sanders v. Southern Risk Servs., 603 So.2d 994 (Ala.1992); Gates Rubber Co. v. Cantrell, 678 So.2d 754 (Ala.1996); and Walton v. Beverly Enters.-Alabama, Inc., 4 So.3d 537, 545......
  • Walton v. Beverly Enterprises-Alabama, Inc.
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Civil Appeals
    • 25 Julio 2008
    ...Co. v. Cantrell, 678 So.2d 754, 756 (Ala.1996); Ex parte Aratex Servs., Inc., 622 So.2d 367, 369 (Ala.1993); Sanders v. Southern Risk Servs., 603 So.2d 994, 995 (Ala.1992); and Dow-United Tech. Composite Prods., Inc. v. Webster, 701 So.2d 22, 24 (Ala.Civ.App.1997). Naturally, an employee ma......
  • Sparks v. Sunshine Mills, Inc.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Northern District of Alabama
    • 4 Septiembre 2013
    ...employee's claims under the Workmen's Compensation Act is conclusive of any other claims the worker may have." Sanders v. Southern Risk Services, 603 So. 2d 994, 995 (Ala. 1992). In Sanders, the plaintiff signed a workers' compensationagreement that released the employer "from all claims on......
  • Reed v. Alamo Rent-a-Car
    • United States
    • Tennessee Court of Appeals
    • 26 Marzo 1999
    ...Rubber Co. v. Cantrell, 678 So. 2d 754 (Ala. 1996); Ex parte Aratex Servs., Inc., 622 So. 2d 367 (Ala. 1993); Sanders v. Southern Risk Servs., 603 So. 2d 994 (Ala. 1992); Dow-United Techs. Composite Prods., Inc. v. Webster, 701 So. 2d 22 (Ala. Civ. App. 1997). We conclude that these decisio......
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