NWCDN Members regularly post articles and summary judgements in workers’ compensations law in your state.
Select a state from the dropdown menu below to scroll through the state specific archives for updates and opinions on various workers’ compensation laws in your state.
Contact information for NWCDN members is also located on the state specific links in the event you have additional questions or your company is seeking a workers’ compensation lawyer in your state.
Kathleen Clearly v. Decatur Memorial Hospital
The petitioner was claiming that she needed a lumbar fusion as a result of an accident at work. We prevailed at the Commission, and on December 13, 2011, the Circuit Court of Macon County confirmed the Commission’s decision, denying the petitioner’s request for a lumbar fusion, ongoing TTD and permanency. There we successfully convinced the Arbitrator, the Commission and the Circuit Court Judge to adopt the opinion of Dr. Pineda, the independent medical evaluator, over the treating physician. The petitioner never returned to work. (Decided February 24, 2010)
Dominique Kay v. Northern Illinois Medical Center and Centegra Health System,
The petitioner was alleging that Northern Illinois Medical Center was the employer and the only party entitled to protection under the Workers’ Compensation Act, alleging that Centegra Health System was liable for her injury under common law based on a negligence theory. She was also alleging that she was permanently and totally disabled as a result of her employment and entitled to $66,560.00 for 2-1/2 years in temporary total disability benefits and then $26,624.00 a year in permanent total disability benefits. At the time of the injuries, the petitioner was 37 years of age. The Arbitrator found there was dual employment between Centegra Health System and Northern Illinois Medical Center resulting in each entity receiving the necessary protection under the Workers’ Compensation Act, in a sense throwing out the common law negligence case in the Circuit Court based on duel employment. nbsp; The Arbitrator denied the 2-1/2 years of temporary total disability, awarding the petitioner 60% loss of use of a man for her multiple surgeries ($138,240.00) as opposed to the $66,560.00 in temporary total disability benefits and the $1,011,712.00 in permanent total disability benefits. The petitioner’s settlement demand in the civil case was $6 million. The petitioner has never returned to work. (Decided December 27, 2010) The petitioner has now appealed that decision.
Brett E Hill v. Tate & Lyle
The Arbitrator awarded $97,938.43 in medical bills, $23,953.00 in temporary total disability benefits and $69,079.62 in permanency representing 30% loss of use of the right arm and 25% of the left arm for repetitive trauma injuries. On review, the Commission reversed the Arbitrator’s decision finding the petitioner failed to prove his condition of ill-being was causally related to his employment. On April 17, 2012, the Appellate Court affirmed the “no award” of the Commission.
Jeff Hayes v. Henry Pratt
The petitioner was claiming that working as a Rubber Mold Operator caused or contributed to a heart attack and that a slow medical response caused the petitioner to develop anoxia to the brain. Our trial presentation proved the claims had no merit through testimony by occurrence witnesses and Dr. Fletcher. The arbitrator denied the claim. On July 7, 2011, the Commission affirmed that denial.
Maria Colon v. Aldi
A cashier claimed carpal tunnel syndrome due to repetitive activity and a torn rotator cuff due to a specific incident. Based on testimony by a district manager about the adoption of safe work practices, the arbitrator denied the carpal tunnel claim on October 24, 2012. The Workers’ Compensation Commission affirmed.
Frank Bird v. Eagle Wings
The petitioner was seeking an order from the Arbitrator compelling the company to authorize a wrist fusion and to award 95 weeks of temporary total disability benefits. The case was tried and the Arbitrator found there was no causal relationship between the petitioner’s undisputed accident and the need for a wrist fusion. He also denied the temporary total disability benefits. On November 28, 2012, the Commission affirmed that denial.
Courtney Carter v. Gottlieb Hospital
This was a disputed case that was tried. The petitioner was seeking 191 weeks of temporary total disability benefits and authorization for right knee surgery which they were trying to relate to an August 29, 2009 accident. On July 17, 2012, we received a favorable decision from the Arbitrator finding that the petitioner failed to prove that she sustained a compensable accident arising out of her employment.
Larry Matson v. City of Waukegan
The Arbitrator awarded the petitioner $88,199.35 in medical expenses, $19,933.44 in temporary total disability benefits and $88,765.59 in permanency representing 30% of a person for a spinal fusion. In total, the decision amounted to $196,898.29. We appealed, and in June of 2012, the Commission reversed that decision and reduced the Arbitrator’s decision from $196,898.29 to $22,191.38. The petitioner appealed to the circuit court where the matter is now pending.
Ann Morgan v. Tate & Lyle
The Arbitrator denied the petitioner’s repetitive trauma carpal tunnel claim. On June 21, 2012, the Commission affirmed the Arbitrator’s denial finding that the petitioner failed to prove that the carpal tunnel syndrome was causally related to her employment. (Decided June 15, 2012)
Patsy Burns v. Naperville Community Unit School District 203
The primary issues were whether the petitioner’s accidental fall was compensable and whether her foot conditions which had been surgically treated by Dr. George Holmes, were causally related to the accident. We took the position the fall did not arise out of the employment but rather was a personal risk due to her shoe wear. In the alternative, we argued that any award should be commensurate with the opinion of our Section 12 examiner, Dr. Samuel Vinci, who found the petitioner had a preexisting degenerative and hereditary condition which was only temporarily aggravated by her fall.
Arbitrator Kinnaman decided the petitioner's accident was compensable, finding the petitioner's sandal stuck to the carpeting which in turn caused her to fall. However, she agreed with our position the petitioner had sustained only a temporary aggravation of her preexisting congenital condition as a result of her accident. She found no basis for awarding TTD benefits and limited the permanency to 5% of a foot. Furthermore, since she did not find any causal relationship between the accident and the petitioner’s multiple surgeries, any potential exposure for reimbursing the husband's insurance carrier for the medical bills it had paid was eliminated.
Both sides filed reviews; we wanted to preserve the accident defense for appeal. After briefing and oral argument, the Commission issued a decision affirming the arbitrator’s decision in its entirety. The petitioner chose to forego further appeal.
Carrie Bond v. PPG
At arbitration, the petitioner was alleging that as a result of her 37 years of employment, she sustained repetitive trauma to her upper extremity. The respondent at the time objected to the petitioner’s testimony going back 37 years, arguing that the statute of limitations precluded her from going back more than three years. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission affirmed the arbitrator’s decision, finding that the petitioner was entitled to go back 37 years in describing her repetitive trauma. On April 17, 2013, the Circuit Court of Macon County reversed the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, finding that this was a case of first impression in holding that in repetitive trauma cases, the three year statute of limitations does apply. Therefore, the petitioner could only describe previous work activities going back three years from the date of accident.
Theresa Garrett v. Decatur Memorial Hospital
The petitioner alleged that she sustained accidental injuries to her back requiring a lumbar fusion. The petitioner never returned to work from the injury in question. At arbitration, we successfully argued that the petitioner returned to her pre-injury status after the work related injury, negating her claim for lost time, permanency or additional medical benefits, including the cost of the fusion surgery. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission affirmed the favorable award and the Appellate Court of Macon County also confirmed eve n though the petitioner never returned to work and was alleging that she is permanently and totally disabled.
Mustafa Alassady v. Berner Foods (Nationwide)
This was a disputed case, where the petitioner was seeking two years of temporary total disability benefits and an order compelling the employer to authorize a spinal fusion. The case proceeded to trial on December 22, 2011. We called four witnesses and after hearing from the petitioner the Arbitrator denied the petitioner’s claim finding the petitioner not credible. As a result of that finding the Arbitrator went on to find that the petitioner failed to prove that he had sustained an accident that arose out of and in the course of his employment and denied the petitioner’s request for temporary total disability benefits, surgery and permanency. The petitioner filed a Petition for Review with the Commission, which affirmed the Arbitrator’s decision. The petitioner appealed to the Circuit Court, which also confirmed the Commission’s decision denying his claim. The petitioner has now appealed to the Appellate Court.