Publications

Section Newsletter Articles on Workers' Compensation Law

W.B. Olson v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission: The appellate court once again relies on the dictionary for interpretation of the Workers’ Compensation Act By Joseph K. Guyette Workers' Compensation Law, January 2013 Rather than settling the law on a confusing issue, this case is likely to cause further confusion and litigation regarding a petitioner’s ability to return to work.
Intoxication: Proposed testing rules and certain crimes defense By Robert J. Finley Workers' Compensation Law, September 2012 Practitioners who are handling claims involving drug or alcohol intoxication for injuries occurring after September 1, 2011 should read Section 11 of the Workers’ Compensation Act carefully.
Taking the “headache” out of the settlement process By Michelle L. LaFayette Workers' Compensation Law, September 2012 As part of the Commission’s judicial training program this past April, the author was invited to speak before the arbitrators and commissioners about settlements from the attorney’s perspective.
What are the duties and obligations of the parties with respect to initiating vocational rehabilitation? By Anita M. DeCarlo and Deborah A. Benzing Workers' Compensation Law, September 2012 As is evidenced by the contradicting case law detailed in this article, there are many unanswered questions with respect to vocational rehabilitation.
Workers’ compensation is an injured employee’s sole remedy By Robert T. Park Civil Practice and Procedure, September 2012 The recent decision in Rodriguez v. Frankie’s Beef/Pasta & Catering illustrates the use of the Workers’ Compensation Act as a defense to a negligence suit.
Black lung: Do I file in the federal court pursuant to the Black Lung Benefits Act or the IWCC pursuant to the Occupational Disease Act? And if choosing one over the other, does that create collateral estoppel? By Kenneth F. Werts Workers' Compensation Law, July 2012 In the case of Donald Edmonds v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, the Appellate Court looked at when the doctrine of collateral estoppel will apply to a state claim based upon an earlier decision made on an issue by the Department of Labor.
Penalties for delay in authorization for medical treatment? No dice. A respondent’s perspective By Shuaib Ahmed Workers' Compensation Law, July 2012 IHollywood Casino v. IWCC, the Appellate Court affirmed the Circuit Court and upheld that there is no legal basis for assessing penalties and fees against the employer for delay in authorization and/or pre-authorization of medical treatment.
Third party immune from liability pursuant to Section 5(a) of the Act By Richard D. Hannigan Workers' Compensation Law, July 2012 IMockdee et. al. v. Humphrey Manlift Company et.al. an injured employee filed a civil complaint against three entities for the injuries she sustained, arguing that either one or a combination of those three entities breached a duty of care by failing to note the need for a guardrail and or facilitating a guardrail.
What consequences does an employer face when there is a refusal to authorize treatment? A petitioner’s perspective By Richard D. Hannigan Workers' Compensation Law, July 2012 A summary of the recent case of Hollywood Casino – Aurora v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission.
Does a shoulder injury entitle one to compensation pursuant to Section 8(d)(2)or a specific loss of use of the arm? By Richard D. Hannigan Workers' Compensation Law, April 2012 In finding the injury involved the shoulder, the Appellate Court of Illinois Third District Workers’ Compensation Commission Division ruled that the shoulder is part of a person and not part of the arm.
Editor’s notes By Richard D. Hannigan Workers' Compensation Law, April 2012 A message from Newsletter Editor Rich Hannigan.
Lessons learned on the eighth floor By Jerry Jutila Workers' Compensation Law, April 2012 Arbitrator Jerry Jutila shares his advice for those young attorneys who have asked for his help and are looking to improve their skills.
Medicare issues in workers’ compensation cases—What every practitioner should know By Nicole M. Schnoor Workers' Compensation Law, April 2012 Early recognition of Medicare issues and consideration of funding a non-submitted Medicare Set-aside Agreement can help expedite the overall settlement process and remove the element of surprise when a Medicare issue is encountered late in settlement negotiations.
When is a “bonus” not really a bonus and included in the average weekly wage? When is “overtime” included? By Lawrence A. Scordino Workers' Compensation Law, April 2012 The Illinois Appellate Court, First District, recently revisited the issue of the inclusion of bonus and overtime in the average weekly wage in Arcelor Mittal Steel, v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission and Robert Common. The Court found that the Commission did not err in it’s inclusion of both “Production Bonuses” and “Scheduled Overtime” in the average weekly wage.
2011 year in review—A summary of appellate case law By Cameron B. Clark and Catherine Krenz Doan Workers' Compensation Law, January 2012 A brief summary of the past year's issues and holdings of the appellate court in 30 court opinions.
Lessons learned on the eighth floor By Jerry Jutila Workers' Compensation Law, January 2012 Arbitrator Jerry Jutila shares his advice for those young attorneys who have asked for his help and are looking to improve their skills.
Should the Legislature consider further changes to the Act? By Richard D. Hannigan Workers' Compensation Law, January 2012 The years 2012 and 2013 will determine what effects the changes in the Workers’ Compensation Act will have upon the injured worker, the employer, the insurance companies and the cost of doing business in the state of Illinois. The author argues that it's just too soon to implement any additional changes.
Appellate court cites WC settlement contract as basis for PSEBA & PEDA benefits; Collateral estoppel uses WC findings to establish other causes of action By John P. O’Grady Workers' Compensation Law, November 2011 A summary of the recent decision of Frank H. Richter v. Village of Oak Brook and its ramifications.
Attorney fees on MSA funds confirmed in N.J. By Brad E. Bleakney Workers' Compensation Law, November 2011 The New Jersey Superior Court recently considered whether Medicare regulations and CMS allowed an attorney to recover attorney fees for creating a settlement obtained on behalf of a client in a civil suit from the Medicare set aside funds itself.
Chairman Mitch Weisz interview By Richard D. Hannigan Workers' Compensation Law, November 2011 Learn more about the various procedural and substantive changes that have come about as a result of the workers’ compensation reform signed by Governor Quinn on June 28, 2011.
If you call it a bonus, is it necessarily excluded from the calculation of average weekly wage? And when do you include overtime in the calculation of average weekly wage? By Richard D. Hannigan Workers' Compensation Law, November 2011 The court stated that there is a distinction between incentive-based pay, which an employee receives in consideration for specific work performed as a matter of contractual right and a bonus which an employee receives for no consideration or in consideration for overall performance a,t the sole discretion of the employer.
Involuntary merger of 8(e) specific loss into 8(d)1 wage differential award By Brad E. Bleakney Workers' Compensation Law, November 2011 Even where there is competent medical evidence presented of a full duty return to work accompanied by a medical opinion stating that the condition of ill being was in fact permanent and causally related to the first date of accident, it may not be enough to sustain a separate award for specific loss under 8(e) where there is a finding of subsequent, intervening accidents to the same part of the body that subsequently resulted in a wage a reduction.
Returning to the course of employment By Noah A. Frank Workers' Compensation Law, November 2011 Employers who have policies regarding personal deviations should enforce those policies. A pattern and practice of discipline demonstrates that policy violation is not tolerated, and that the employee has removed himself from the sphere of employment.
Editor’s notes By Richard D. Hannigan Workers' Compensation Law, August 2011 News updates of interest to workers' compensation lawyers, from editor Rich Hannigan.
Summary of workers’ compensation legislation By Darrell Widen Administrative Law, August 2011 A summary of the major provisions of the recently passed Workers' Compensation reform legislation.
The two doctor rule—The genesis of the referral has no bearing on the issue so long as the treating doctor makes the referral By John W. Powers Workers' Compensation Law, August 2011 A look at the recent case of Absolute Cleaning v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Comm’n.
Who has jurisdiction over workers’ compensation fraud? By Richard D. Hannigan Workers' Compensation Law, August 2011 Because the petitioner’s case involved questions of fact and not law, the circuit court lacked jurisdiction to hear the fraud complaint and found that the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission is the proper jurisdiction.
How to avoid the “penalty box” By Christine M. Ory Workers' Compensation Law, June 2011 Respondents can be tagged for penalties under Sections 19k, 19l and attorneys’ fees under 16 if they do not have justification for delaying or denying benefits. To defeat penalties, respondents must put forth a legitimate dispute.
Interview with Arbitrator Peter O’Malley Workers' Compensation Law, June 2011 An interview between attorney Catherine Mafee Levine and Arbitrator Peter O’Malley.
New limitation applied to recovery of medical payments under Section 8(a) By Arnold G. Rubin and Catherine Krenz Doan Workers' Compensation Law, June 2011 Tower Automotive v. Illinois Workers Compensation Commission is an extremely significant case, and will have a significant impact on those claims for medical benefits prior to February 1, 2006, the effective date of the amendment to Section 8(a) in 2005. 820 ILCS 305/8(a).