Dave Collin v. JD Raymond Transport
December 18, 2020
CategoriesAverage Weekly Wage
Summary from the Troubh Heisler Attorneys
Dave Collin v. JD Raymond Transport (attached) – Collin worked in the woods collecting limbs and tops for grinding into biomass fuel to be shipped elsewhere. While performing that job he slipped and fell on ice and injured his low back, requiring several surgeries.
Raymond paid Collin total incapacity benefits voluntarily but then filed a petition seeking to lower Collin’s average weekly wage and comp rate because he was a seasonal worker under §102 (4)(C)(2), so his annual wages should be divided by 52 weeks, even though he worked more than 26 weeks.
Judge Hirtle granted Raymond's petition and ordered a decrease in Collins weekly benefit accordingly. Collin appealed, but the WCB Appellate Division affirmed the decision. Collin argued that the wage calculation methods in §102(4) must be applied sequentially, and subsection B applied so subsection C was irrelevant.
The panel held that, although Collin was a heavy equipment operator and potentially could work even during mud season, his work was outdoors and somewhat weather dependent, so subsection C applied to this case, even though subsections A and B might also have applied.