Gregg v. Natchez Trace Electric Power Ass’n
Petitioner Barry Gregg challenged a Workers’ Compensation Commission (Commission) holding that denied him permanent partial disability benefits. Petitioner was injured on the job for Respondent Natchez Trace Electric Power (Natchez) and was unable to satisfactorily return to his job nor earn on-call compensation. Petitioner unsuccessfully appealed the Commission’s decision to the circuit court and the Court of Appeals. On appeal to the Supreme Court, Petitioner argued that the Commission erred in reaching its decision. In the decision adopted by the Commission, the administrative law judge observed that Petitioner made more money after his injury than before he was injured. The appellate court affirmed the Commission’s decision on the basis of a presumption that because of that earning discrepancy, Petitioner failed to prove that he suffered a loss of “wage-earning capacity.” The Supreme Court found that the Commission erred by considering Petitioner’s higher wage post-injury as determinative of his earning capacity. The Court found that Petitioner had rebutted the presumption regarding his earning capacity. Subsequently, the Court reversed both the Commission’s and the appellate court’s holdings and remanded the case for further proceedings.