Freeman v. NewPage
Zurich, Sedgwick Claims Management Services
March 18, 2015
Maximum Rate Multiple Injuries Paper Mill
Summary from the Troubh Heisler Attorneys
The maximum weekly benefit amount in §211 establishes a payment ceiling, even for multiple injuries.
In 2007, Freeman suffered a respiratory injury caused by exposure to chemicals. NewPage accommodated her by assigning her elsewhere in the plant but also paid her a lower hourly rate. In 2009, she was awarded partial incapacity benefits based on the lower earnings.
Freeman injured her right shoulder in 2011, and NewPage paid her benefits based on the 2007 AWW. Freeman claimed that she was entitled to the maximum rate for each injury. H.O. Knopf granted her petition on that injury but declined to award benefits above the maximum level.
Freeman appealed, but the panel affirmed the decision, finding that §211 provides a maximum benefit level for incapacity from all work injuries.