News & Insights

Aaron Ashcraft Obtains Defense Verdict In Shelby County, Alabama

In Lawley v. Chelsea Hidden Acres, Aaron Ashcraft obtained a defense verdict from Judge Sonny Conwill following a bench trial. The Plaintiff alleged she sustained an injury in the course and scope of her employment as a patient care tech, lifting a resident out of a bed on July 23, 2013. This allegation remained consistent throughout the litigation up until trial, despite evidence that the resident in question died on July 22, 2013 and was no longer in the facility. Further evidence showed the Plaintiff had an employer conducted physical on July 22, 2013 and did not complain of the injuries she allegedly sustained in the incident. Finally, the treatment records uniformly stated the Plaintiff informed the doctors that the injury occurred “gradually over time” and not due to a trauma.

At trial, the Plaintiff altered her testimony, stating that she was injured “sometime in July.” However, she was unable to explain the employer conducted physical, or why the treatment records did not discuss an on-the-job injury. Aaron asserted, in trial briefs, that the possibility of an on-the-job injury on or after July 22, 2013 was eliminated by the death of the resident the Plaintiff asserted she was lifting, and the possibility of an injury before July 22, 2013 was eliminated by the employer conducted physical. Therefore, there was no available date “in July” on which the  Plaintiff could prove an injury.

Judge Conwill agreed, and denied benefits on the ground that the Plaintiff had not proven she sustained an injury in the course and scope of her employment. The denial of benefits is currently on appeal.