The story of a man who had a dream – by Ellen Adams
|Post by Managing Partner Ellen Adams|
In Hutson v. South Carolina State Ports Authority, a crane operator suffered injuries to his back and leg that prevented him from returning to his $90,000.00 per year job. On the basis of his dream, he made a claim for wage loss and sought his award in a lump sum to pursue his vision of starting his own restaurant. A vocational report submitted by the claimant estimated his future earning capacity at $14,000.
Now for a different perspective – by Stan Lacy.
|Post by Founding Partner Stan Lacy|
Well done, Ellen, but consider this approach to the case.
The claimant wanted a commuted award based on wage loss to enable him to pursue his dream of opening a restaurant. He was denied wage loss because he testified to his dream. Instead, he got a much lesser award under SC Code 42-9-30. It makes one wonder, that if he had he not admitted to the dream, the commissioner might have have awarded wage loss which would have enabled him to pursue his dream.
Amazingly, every court agreed the claimant’s dream was enough to deny him wage loss until the case got to the Supreme Court, which recognized a dream is mere speculation. Speculation is not substantial evidence and the case was remanded. As Norma Desmond sang in “Sunset Boulevard,” the Supreme Court “gave the world new ways to dream.”
This case also was reported in SC Lawyers Weekly. Click here to read the full article.