Ability to perform new job leads to application of two times multiplier
Case name: Allen Tire & Muffler, Inc. v. Blackburn, No. 2011-CA-002303-WC (Ky. Ct. App. 01/25/13, unpublished).
Ruling: In an unpublished decision, the Kentucky Court of Appeals held that a worker was entitled to permanent partial disability benefits at a two times multiplier.
What it means: In Kentucky, when a worker is not physically able to return to his preinjury employment but his postinjury wages are greater than his preinjury wages, his ability to earn an equal or greater average weekly wage is considered in determining whether he is entitled to a two or three times multiplier.
Summary: A worker who was engaged in carpentry work was injured when his hand was pulled into the blade of an electric saw. Two years after the injury, he obtained a new job, where he earned minimum wage. The worker said that he had no trouble performing his duties. He was paid more at his new job than he earned at his preinjury job. The worker sought PPD benefits. The Kentucky Court of Appeals held that he was entitled to benefits at a two times multiplier.
In Kentucky, if a worker does not retain the physical ability to return to the type of work he performed at the time of injury, his PPD benefits will be multiplied by three times the amount otherwise determined. If a worker returns to work at a weekly wage equal to or greater than the AWW he earned at the time of the injury, a two times multiplier applies. Here, the employer did not dispute that the worker was unable to perform the physical requirements of his preinjury job but argued that he was not entitled to the three times multiplier. The court agreed, pointing out that the worker said that he had no trouble performing the duties of his new job. No evidence showed that he would not be able to earn an equal or greater AWW than his preinjury wage.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
May 13, 2013
Copyright 2013© LRP Publications