Harrington v. Dep't of Labor & Indus

In Harrington v. Dep't of Labor & Indus., 9 Wn.2d 1, 8, 113 P.2d 518 (1941), the worker was a logger who was permanently and totally disabled because of an industrial accident. He received a lump-sum payment instead of a monthly pension. Although the classification of permanent total disability is defined as being unable to work, Harrington recovered sufficiently to return to logging work and was injured again. Thereafter, he filed a claim for time loss, hospital and medical bills, and compensation for any permanent disability which might have been sustained. Other than medical treatment, the Department ruled that Mr. Harrington was not entitled to further compensation. The issue presented in Harrington was whether a worker may receive time loss compensation, i.e., compensation for temporary total disability, for an injury suffered after he has been classified permanent total disability and received a lump-sum settlement. The Court agreed with the Department that Harrington was ineligible for time loss compensation stating that "a subsequent lesser disability cannot be superimposed upon the maximum disability recognized by the law. A contrary conclusion would result in an overlapping of classifications and in the allowance of double payment." Harrington, 9 Wn.2d at 8. The Court reasoned that had Mr. Harrington been receiving a monthly payment, the Department could have reclassified him as partially or fully recovered, even to the point of terminating the monthly payments but, having received a lump sum, that option was unavailable. Id. at 6.