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Suit Permitted to go

Namislo v. Akzo Chemicals, Inc., 620 So.2d 573 (Ala. 1993), Mobile County Circuit. While pregnant, the child’s mother had been exposed to mercury at her workplace. In a tort action brought by the child against the company, lawyers argued that the company was responsible for injuries sustained by the child as a result of the mother’s exposure –injuries allegedly caused while the child was in utero. The company sought dismissal, claiming that the child’s action was based on the mother’s personal workplace injury and therefore barred by the Alabama workers’ compensation statute. The Alabama Supreme Court disagreed. It found that the child’s claims were not subsumed by the mother’s, but were instead based on independent fetal harm. Since the fetus could not be considered an “employee” within the meaning of the workers’ compensation statute, the child’s suit was permitted to go.

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