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WORKERS' COMPENSATION - SCHEIN CHRYSLER DODGE, INC. V. RUSHING

In Schein Chrysler Dodge, Inc. v. Rushing, [Ms. 2091112, Jan. 28, 2011] __ So. 3d __(Ala. Civ. App. 2011), Plaintiff Rushing was a retiree who supplemented his retirement income by transporting cars for Birmingham-area car dealerships. While transporting a car from Pelham to Jacksonville, Florida, Rushing was injured. A workers' compensation claim was filed and the trial court ultimately entered judgment on Rushing's behalf, determining him to be permanently and totally disabled. The defendant dealership appealed, arguing that Rushing was an independent contractor and therefore not entitled to workers' compensation benefits. The Alabama Court of Civil Appeals reversed, finding that Rushing was an independent contractor. The court focused on the fact that, with respect to Schein Chrysler Dodge, Rushing never filed an employment application, never completed an income tax withholding form, never received health insurance benefits, never received a schedule, and never referenced an employer-employee relationship on his tax returns.

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