Thursday, September 02, 2021

Martin v. Sundial Marine Tug & Barge Works (9th Cir. - Sept. 2, 2021)

This is a ton of work for a relatively small sum of money (in the scheme of things).

It's important to the plaintiff, Rick Martin, of course -- and I'm always sympathetic to anyone with the last name of "Martin."  Especially if, as here, he's a hardworking longshoreman whose knees got blown out on the job.

The issue is simply how you calculate Mr. Martin's "weekly wage" for disability benefits.  Everyone agrees that in the 52 weeks before his injury, Martin made $47,498.41 and worked 264 days.  The appeal is about whether his "weekly wage" should be calculated under 33 U.S.C. § 910(a) or § 910(c).  The ALJ did the former, and on appeal, Mr. Martin wants the latter.

Judge Hurwitz writes a 13-page opinion that says that the ALJ got it right, and another memorandum disposition that addresses some other stuff that Mr. Martin wants.  A lot of ink for not that much cash.

Still, it's nice to see that the attention devoted to an issue doesn't always depend on the monetary figure at stake.