Decision  Pasquale Pezzulo v. City of Salem

Date: 12/30/2003
Organization: Department of Industrial Accidents
Docket Number: DIA Board No. 014069-00
Location: Boston
  • Employee: Pasquale Pezzulo
  • Employer: City of Salem
  • Self Insurer: City of Salem

COSTIGAN, J. The self-insurer accepted liability for the employee’s 1986 industrial injury1  and paid him weekly incapacity benefits, without interruption, for almost fourteen years, always at the rate to which he was entitled for temporary total incapacity under G. L. c. 152, § 34.2

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1  After working as a clothes presser in a clothing factory for almost twenty-five years, (Dec. 3), the employee commenced employment as a school custodian with the City of Salem in April 1971, when he was forty-six years old. (Dec. 3-4, 13.) His custodial duties included washing floors, cleaning bathrooms, changing lights, and other school building maintenance tasks. On occasion, he was required to carry ladders and clean boilers. On June 10, 1986, the employee, then sixty-two years old, injured his neck and right shoulder while lifting a table at work. He did not return to work after that date. (Dec. 3-4, 10.)

2  General Laws c. 152, § 34, as amended by St. 1985, c. 572, § 42, and applicable to the employee’s date of injury, provided in pertinent part:

While the incapacity for work resulting from the injury is total, during each week of incapacity the insurer shall pay the injured employee a weekly compensation equal to two-thirds of his average weekly wage before the injury . . . The total number of weeks of compensation due the employee under this section shall not exceed two hundred and sixty.

(Emphasis added.) Based on Mr. Pezzulo’s average weekly wage of $365.78, the self-insurer paid him $243.85 every week for almost 725 weeks, notwithstanding that the statutory maximum period for temporary total incapacity benefits was only 260 weeks.

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