The family of a city maintenance worker who was shot and killed while mowing the lawn in an abandoned house must show that he was not attacked for personal reasons in order to receive death benefits, a court of appeal held on Friday.
City of Birmingham v Jenkins The Alabama Court of Civil Appeals in Montgomery on Friday unanimously reversed the grant of benefits to the worker's family for further facts, although the court upheld a trial court dismissing the city's motion for summary judgment in the case.
Grady Jenkins, an employee of the City of Birmingham's Horticulture Department, was shot and killed on November 1, 2017, while cutting and clearing debris from uninhabited residential areas as part of his duties for the day. There were no witnesses to the shooting and cash in Mr Jenkin's pocket at the time was undisturbed.
His widow, Keishana Jenkins, filed a complaint against the city, claiming compensation for workers on behalf of herself and her minor children. , which was denied on the grounds that the "assault" did not occur due to his employment. She then submitted an application for benefits. During the discovery, workers testified that the neighborhood where the garden crew worked on the day of the murder had a reputation for a large number of violent crimes, and that shots were sometimes heard while the crew was working there. [1
The Court of Appeal held that the trial court did not err in rejecting the city's strike proposal or its draft summary judgment, but considered that the award of benefits to the Jenkins family was premature.  Although the city argued that the trial court should have granted its proposal to cancel landfill transcripts from three city workers for hearsay as well as strike extracts from a detective and city security worker to name the city's murders, the Board of Appeal rejected that claim. and noted that the city was represented at all the landfills and had to question the witnesses.
The Court of Appeal also held that the Jenkins had provided sufficient evidence to show that the assault "was not really an unexplained attack" and "had a definite causal link with the employment" to oppose the City of Birmingham's draft summary judgment. However, the Court held that the evidence "was not conclusive as to the question of compensation for the death of the worker."
The Board of Appeal noted that the possibility that Mr. Jenkins had been attacked for personal reasons had not been decisive. excluded and that the "uncertain evidentiary relationship may lead to a reasonable factual informant" to draw other conclusions.