Fecteau v. Rich Vale Const., Inc.

349 A.2d 162 (1975)

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Fecteau v. Rich Vale Const., Inc.

Maine Supreme Judicial Court
349 A.2d 162 (1975)

Facts

In 1973 Richard Fecteau (plaintiff) was employed at Rich Vale Construction, Inc. (Rich) (defendant) as a carpenter when he suffered an ankle injury. Under an approved agreement, Fecteau received compensation for total incapacity. In January 1974, Fecteau engaged in light-work duty as advised by his physician. Fecteau began looking for other jobs and applied to Vigue Lumber Yard (Vigue), with a pay of $115 per week, but the position was given to another person. On June 28, 1974, Fecteau began working as a school janitor five days a week, eight hours each day, for $90 per week. Janitorial duties included washing floors, trash disposal, and other janitorial maintenance work, and the duties required extensive walking. While employed as a janitor, Fecteau learned of another open position at Vigue but did not pursue it because he already had a job. Rich and its insurer, St. Paul Fire Insurance Company (St. Paul) (defendant), filed a petition for review of incapacity on July 18, 1974. The Maine Industrial Accident Commission (the commission) determined that Fecteau was entitled to partial-incapacity compensation as of July 30, 1974, at a rate of $53.14 weekly, on the basis that Fecteau’s janitorial job reflected the correct measure of his current ability to earn. Rich and St. Paul appealed, arguing that the commissioner erred in fixing partial incapacity in terms of weekly compensation on that basis. Rich and St. Paul argued that Fecteau did not provide evidence to prove that the janitorial job was the highest-income-producing job he was capable of securing, compatible with his limited physical ability.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Wernick, J.)

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