Alabama workers comp laws ruled unconstitutional

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judge has ruled that two statutes of the Alabama Workmans Compensation Act are unconstitutional, thereby rendering the entire act unconstitutional because of a non-severability statute.

The Gadsden Times reports Jefferson County Circuit Judge Pat Ballard found fault with statutes capping recovery for workers permanently but not totally disabled at $220 per week, and capping attorney fees at 15 percent.

The decision was a response to a lawsuit brought by a woman against CVS Caremark Corp. in 2013 after she suffered a lower back injury on the job.

Attorneys presented evidence that the $220 cap was commensurate with standards in 1987, when the act was written, but was a fraction of minimum wage and poverty level standards today. Attorney Don Rhea says he hopes lawmakers will rewrite the act.

Republished with permission of The Associated Press.

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