Supreme Court Decision
A Local 5 Union Laborer prevailed in a decision that established new law regarding calculation of wages for purposes of establishing the weekly workers’ compensation pay rate.
- The Case
The laborer fell off of a scaffold onto the ground in Indiana, causing a herniated disk in his lower back. The employer argued that Indiana law should apply because the accident happened in Indiana.
- In Depth Look
Indiana Workers’ Compensation rates are notoriously low. Had the court applied Indiana law, the laborer would have received just a fraction of the benefits that are paid under Illinois law. Furthermore, Indiana law permits the employer to select the treating medical provider, while Illinois allows injured workers to choose their own doctors for treatment at the employer’s expense.
Marc Perper, a workers’ compensation attorney and Partner at Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates, had to file an emergency hearing petition to persuade the Court to apply Illinois law to this difficult situation. Perper prevailed and convinced the arbitrator that Illinois law applied, because the Laborer was hired in the state of Illinois and worked the majority of his hours within the state of Illinois. The Court ordered the employer to pay benefits at the higher Illinois compensation rate.
The case was appealed by the employer. On appeal, Marc Perper convinced the appellate court to actually increase the award to the laborer. Perper established new law regarding calculation of wages for purposes of establishing the weekly workers’ compensation pay rate. The employer argued that the Laborer’s weekly wage should be determined by dividing his annual earnings by 52 weeks. However, Marc Perper obtained a major change in Illinois law that has since benefited thousands of injured workers. Instead of dividing the employee’s earnings by 52 weeks, Perper convinced the Court that the earnings should be divided by the number of weeks actually worked. For example, if the employee, for no fault of his own, worked only 40 out of 52 weeks, his annual earnings would be divided by 40 weeks, resulting in a higher weekly compensation rate. This result has benefited all Illinois employees who work less than 52 weeks a year through no fault of their own.
Marc Perper had to take this case through arbitration, the Commission, the Circuit Court and the Appellate Court, and prevailed at all levels.
- Contact Us Today
Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates invites you for a free telephone or in person consultation to discuss your injury and any questions you may have. You can also email us or even speak with us right now on LiveChat, located in the lower right corner of the screen. Even if you do not wish to retain an attorney, we can set you on the right path for free. Most of our lawyers have more than 30 years of experience and we have an outstanding track record in helping our clients and creating a strong trust relationship, as you can see in our Success Record. Please call our Chicago office at (312) 372-8822, or our Joliet office at (815) 723-8822, or you can call our toll free number at (800)-985-1819.