Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Supreme Court Grants Employer's Petition for Allowance of Appeal in More AWW Cases

The Supreme Court granted the Employer's Petition for Appeal in the consolidated cases of Reifsnyder v. WCAB (Dana Corporation), Remp v. WCAB (Dana Corporation) and Hoffa v. WCAB (Dana Corporation). The Commonwealth Court in these cases reversed the WCJ's application of Section 309(d) of the Act on the basis that while the Employees were employed for all 52 weeks prior to the dates of injury, they had not worked a complete period of thirteen calendar weeks. The Commonwealth Court allowed the Employees to use section 309(d.2) of the Act.

The Supreme Court now has these cases with Colpetzer and Zerby, both of which used Section 309(d) but included the AWW of a prior work injury in the calculation. The Court denied the Petition for Allowance of Appeal in Shire, which used section 309(d) and included S&A benefits in the calculation.

The Claimants in the Dana Corporation cases were laid off for periods, and presumably they collected unemployment compensation benefits that could be included in an AWW calculation to achieve an average weekly wage that reasonably reflects the reality of the Claimant's pre-injury earning experience as a predictor of future earning potential.

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