Wolfe v. JAB Enterprises, Inc

In Wolfe v. JAB Enterprises, Inc., 14 Conn. Workers' Comp. Rev. Op. 127 (1995), the board determined that the Arcudi method was improper because it awarded COLAs that were based, in part, on prior COLAs. In the board's view, applying the percentage adjustment to the claimant's base rate, as augmented by prior COLAs, violated the statute. The board ruled that the plain language of 31-307a (a) mandated that COLAs be computed solely on the weekly compensation rate that the claimant was entitled to receive on the date of the injury (base compensation rate). The board thus determined that the percentage increase should be derived from the difference between the current maximum weekly rate and the maximum rate at the time of the injury. Under the Arcudi method, the percentage increase was derived from the difference between the current maximum rate and the maximum rate for the previous year. Under the formula espoused in Wolfe, claimants receiving the maximum base compensation rate continued to receive the maximum weekly compensation rate, while claimants with a base compensation rate less than the maximum rate received considerably lower COLAs than before.