Apon v. ABF Freight Systems
Gallagher Basset Services
February 25, 2019
CategoriesMental Stress Injury
Termination Due to Injury Mental Injury
Summary from the Troubh Heisler Attorneys
Apon refused to sign a mandatory employment form, so ABF terminated his employment. Apon then developed a mental stress injury and filed a Petition for award, alleging that ABF’s termination was in bad faith. Judge Collier determined that ABF freight terminated Apon’s employment in good faith and denied his petition. Apon appealed, arguing that ABF had the burden of proof of good faith and that the record lacked competent evidence to support the finding.
The appellate panel affirmed the decision, holding that, while some of the evidence was conflicting, Judge Collier was permitted "to determine the existence or nonexistence of facts and to resolve conflicts in the evidence." Apon argued that Judge Collier failed to "more explicitly state how he allocated the burden of proof" of good faith, but the panel found that Judge Collier expressly stated in a footnote that, regardless of who had the burden of proof, he was persuaded that the termination was taken in good faith and not in bad faith. The panel also found that, despite contrary evidence contained in the record, Judge Collier's findings were supported by competent evidence.