Non-Resident Aliens Not Entitled to Recovery of Death Benefits Under Alabama’s Workers’ Compensation Act

In Duran v. Goff Group, [Ms. 2070763] (Ala. Civ App. Feb 6, 2009), the Court of Civil Appeals held that non-resident aliens are not entitled to the death benefits as a result of the death of a worker.  The statute specifically provides that "Compensation for the death of an employee shall be paid only to dependants who, at the time of the death of the injured employee, were actually residents of the United States."  Ala. Code 25-5-82.  The cirucit court and the court of civil appeals rejected consitutional challenges to this provision and enforced the terms of the statute.

For an article on this interesting opinion, click the link to "Ala. court: No money for Mexican worker’s family" from the AP, via


Payment of workers’ compensation benefits pursuant to foreign state’s statute does not toll time to bring Alabama workers’ compensation claim

In Ex parte Morris, Ms. 1070384 (Ala. June 20, 2008) , in a question of first impression, the Alabama Supreme Court held that the payment of benefits pursuant to another states workers’ compensation statute does not toll the time to bring an Alabama workers’ compensation claim.  Under the terms of Alabama’s statute, only payments under Alabama’s workers’ compensation statute tolls the time to bring a clain in Alabama.  Thus, the plaintiff’s claim in this case was untimely and was dismissed.  The Court recognized that this rule can lead to harsh results, so it noted that equitable tolling may be available in some cases.