The case, Roberts v. Sea-Land Services, Inc., involved a gatehouse dispatcher who slipped on ice and sustained injuries to his neck and shoulder in 2002. His employer paid benefits for about three years, then stopped.
At a formal hearing requested by Roberts, the administrative law judge determined Roberts' disability was temporary total from March 2002 to July 2005, permanent total from July 2005 to October 2005, and permanent partial beginning in October 2005. The ALJ calculated the maximum compensation rate based on the national average weekly wage for FY 2002 when Roberts first became injured.
The dispute is whether the permanent total disability rate should have been based on the national average weekly wage for 2005 when the ALJ issued his decision making a formal award of compensation. Observers say in addition to affecting the maximum rate of workers' comp under the Longshore Act, it could also impact businesses in other industries for which a federal workers' comp system has been established.
Briefs in support of the petitioner are due Nov. 18 while briefs supporting the respondents are due Dec. 19.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
October 17, 2011
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