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Workers’ Compensation – Temporary Total Disability – Average Weekly Wage

Thompson v. STS Holdings, Inc. (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-07-0637, 19 pp.) (Linda M. McGee, J.) Appealed from the Industrial Commission. N.C. App. Click here for the full-text opinion.

Holding: A plaintiff who was injured while working a contract job for one of several employers is entitled to only $30 per week in temporary total disability compensation.

Plaintiff was an Airframe and Power Plant Mechanic (A&P mechanic) who worked contract jobs in the airline maintenance industry for various employers. STS Holdings, Inc. (STS) is a company specializing in providing contract aviation technicians to the aerospace industry.

Plaintiff was working for STS in February 2008, pursuant to a contract between STS and TIMCO at TIMCO’s facility in Greensboro. While working for STS on the TIMCO contract, plaintiff tripped over a metal plate on Feb. 18, 2008 and suffered a compensable injury by accident.

In the 52-week period immediately preceding the accident, plaintiff had worked a total of 14 days for STS on five separate contracts. The bulk of plaintiff’s income in that 52-week period came from contracts with other employers.

We recognize that the average weekly wage computed by the Industrial Commission does not reflect the total wages plaintiff would have earned from all employment plaintiff would have undertaken, and this leaves plaintiff with compensation greatly reduced from that which he would have recovered had he performed all his contract work through STS alone. We sympathize with the difficult financial position plaintiff now faces as a result of having been injured while working for STS. However, the General Assembly enacted our workers’ compensation act considering what it deemed “fair and just” to both parties.


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