Alaska Indus. Bd. v. Chugach Elec. Assn., Inc.
356 U.S. 320 (1958)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Alaska Indus. Bd. v. Chugach Elec. Assn., Inc., 356 U.S. 320 (1958)

Alaska Industrial Board v. Chugach Electric Association, Inc.

No. 303

Argued April 8, 1958

Decided April 28, 1958

356 U.S. 320

Syllabus

In Alaska, an employee suffered an injury in the course of his employment that resulted in the amputation of an arm, amputation of four toes on his left foot, and, sometime later, amputation of his right leg below the knee. The left foot had not healed three years later, and the employee continued unable to work or to obtain employment. His employer and its insurer (respondents here) paid him "temporary disability" payments of $95 per week for 38 weeks. Then they concluded that he had been totally and permanently disabled since the date of the last amputation, and was entitled under the Alaska Workmen's Compensation Act to a lump sum award of $8,100, and no more. They sent him a check for that amount (less the total already paid for "temporary disability") and discontinued the "temporary disability" payments. He then applied to the Alaska Industrial Board, which awarded him "temporary disability" payments from the date of the last amputation, on the ground that his temporary disability "continues to this date, no end medical results having been reached." Respondents sued in a Federal District Court to set aside that award.

Held:

1. Under the Act, the fact that the employee had become entitled to a lump sum payment for "total and permanent disability" did not preclude a later award for continuing "temporary disability." Pp. 356 U. S. 323-324.

2. For "all injuries causing temporary disability," the Act provides for awards based on the employee's "average daily wage earning capacity"; their purpose is to compensate the employee for lost wages during the healing period and until he is able to return to work, and there is a factual basis for such award as long as a continuing ability to do some work exists. P. 356 U. S. 324.

3. Respondents' contentions that the employee's claim was not timely filed, and that, for other reasons also, the Board had no jurisdiction to enter its latest award were decided adversely to them by the Court of Appeals, they filed no cross-petition here, and therefore

Page 356 U. S. 321

those questions are not open to respondents at this stage. Pp. 356 U. S. 324-325.

245 F.2d 855 reversed, and cause remanded to the District Court for further proceedings.

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