Lowry v. Indus. Comm'n

In Lowry v. Indus. Comm'n, 195 Ariz. 398, 400-01,5, 10, 989 P.2d 152, 154-55 (1999), the claimant worked both as a city building inspector and a volunteer firefighter; as a building inspector, he earned ten times what he earned as a firefighter. Id. at 399,2, 989 P.2d at 153. Four days after he was laid off from his job as a building inspector, he sustained injury while working as a firefighter. Id. Citing subpart (G) of 23-1041, the supreme court noted the legislature defined "monthly wage" as "the average wage paid during and over the month in which the employee is killed or injured." Id. at 399,5, 989 P.2d at 153. The court held that even though the claimant was no longer working as a building inspector at the time he was injured, the wages he earned from both jobs during the month before his injury should be considered in establishing his average monthly wage. The court explained: Because Lowry realistically earned more than his wages as a volunteer firefighter indicate, his lower wages from the firefighter position alone cannot provide an accurate measure of his actual pre-injury earning capacity. Fully compensating him for his real loss of earning capacity, therefore, requires considering also the income he actually earned as a building inspector during the month of his injury. Id. at 400-01,9, 989 P.2d at 154-55.