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Christian Petrucci of the Law Offices of Christian Petrucci. Christian Petrucci of the Law Offices of Christian Petrucci.

In last month’s column, we reviewed the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court case of Sadler v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (Philadelphia Coca-Cola), __ A.3d___(Pa. Commw., No. 218 C.D. 2019, filed May 22, 2019), and its holding with respect to an injured worker’s incarceration following a conviction under Section 306(a.1) of the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act. I noted that the court also addressed a significant issue regarding the calculation of the claimant’s average weekly wage, which was beyond the scope of that article. Given the significance of the court’s holding on the average weekly wage issue, reviewing the case again in light of the average weekly wage issue is warranted.

Sadler concerned a claimant who sustained an amputation of his right pinky finger and injured his back in July 2012. A converted notice of temporary compensation payable acknowledged the injury, and reflected a weekly compensation rate of $652, based upon an average weekly wage of $978. In April 2015, the claimant filed a review petition, alleging that his average weekly wage was not calculated properly consistent with Section 309(d.2) of the act and that his average weekly wage should have been no less than $1,412.04, which would have entitled him to the statewide maximum compensation rate in 2012 of $888. The claimant also sought the imposition of penalties for the employer’s alleged miscalculation of the average weekly wage.

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