Humphrey v. Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse, Inc.Annotate this Case
The issue this case presented for the Supreme Court's review was whether an employee was entitled to temporary total disability benefits after he left employment under disputed circumstances. The employee injured his back at work but returned after being cleared for lighter duty. His employment soon ended (for reasons the parties dispute), and he moved with his family to Nevada, where he later had back surgery. The Alaska Workers’ Compensation Board found his injury compensable and ordered the employer to pay medical costs and disability benefits from the surgery onward; however, the Board denied temporary total disability benefits from the end of his employment to the surgery, finding the employee had voluntarily left his job for reasons that were not injury-related. The employee appealed to the Alaska Workers’ Compensation Appeals Commission, which affirmed the decision on disability but remanded to the Board for clarification of its attorney’s fees award. The employee appealed the Commission’s decision regarding temporary total disability benefits and its denial of his request for attorney’s fees for the appeal. After review, the Supreme Court affirmed the Commission’s decision that the employee was not entitled to temporary total disability benefits, reversed its denial of attorney’s fees for the appeal, and remanded the case for further proceedings.