Publications

Section Newsletter Articles on Workers' Compensation Law

Section 12 Medical Examination Reports: Admissible as admission against interest? By William R. Gallagher Workers' Compensation Law, September 2008 For those of us who represent employees in workers’ compensation cases, it has been a common practice to have the employer or workers’ compensation insurer obtain a Section 12 examination by a physician of their choosing, the primary purpose of which is to obtain an expert medical opinion as to what might be one or more disputed issues, namely, is the employee still temporarily totally disabled; is there a medical causal relationship between the accident or repetitive trauma and the condition in question; is additional medical care/treatment necessary, etc.
When should an application for dedimus postestatem be granted? By John W. Powers Workers' Compensation Law, September 2008 According to Rules Governing Practice Before the Workers Compensation Commission, evidence depositions of any witness may be taken before hearing only upon stipulation of the parties or upon a dedimus potestatem order. 50 Ill. Adm. Code 7030.60(a) (2008).
Attorney fees for the discharged attorney: Does it pay to be the second attorney? By Richard D. Hannigan Workers' Compensation Law, June 2008 Ted Collison, a prominent Petitioner’s attorney from Northbrook, was kind enough to forward an appellate court decision regarding attorney fees.
The Commission giveth and the Appellate Court taketh away By Kevin S. Botha Workers' Compensation Law, June 2008 In Beelman Trucking v. IWCC (2008 WL 901460), the appellate court reversed the Commission’s award of both §8(e)(10) and statutory PTD under §8(e)(18), holding that the Commission does not have the power to award benefits for specific losses of permanent partial disability as well as permanent total disability resulting from the same accident.
Extra scrutiny revisited By Richard D. Hannigan Workers' Compensation Law, June 2008 The S&H Floor Covering Inc. v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission decision affirmed that it may be time to give credence to Cook v. Industrial Commission and provide for “an extra degree of scrutiny” when determining whether there is sufficient support for the Commission’s decision especially when the Commission makes credibility determinations regardless of the arbitrator’s findings.”
If you do not ask the respondent to pay for the medical provider’s expenses does the medical provider count as a choice? By Richard D. Hannigan Workers' Compensation Law, June 2008 In Comfort Masters v. The Workers’ Compensation Commission et al. (Onasis Youanis) No. 1—07—1951WC, filed May 20, 2008 by the Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, Workers’ Compensation Commission Division, the five justices unanimously answered in the negative.
Sanctions at the Circuit Court Level By Richard D. Hannigan Workers' Compensation Law, June 2008 Rarely will the courts allow sanctions pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 137.
Tort Immunity Act is no protection against claim of retaliatory discharge for pursuing workers’ compensation claim By Karen D. Fox Labor and Employment Law, June 2008 On April 17, 2008, in Smith v. Waukegan Park District, 2008 WL 1746664, the Illinois Supreme Court held that the Tort Immunity Act did not protect a public entity against a claim by an employee of retaliatory discharge for pursuing his workers’ compensation benefits.
Workers’ compensation benefits, FMLA, and retaliatory discharge By Kevin LeFevour Workers' Compensation Law, June 2008 The recent Seventh Circuit decision of Dotson v. BRP US Inc., 520 F.3d 703; 2008 U.S.App.LEXIS 5897 (7th Cir., 2008) may not be a statement of new law; however, it does provide detailed guidance for employee discharge cases involving workers’ compensation claims under Illinois law and the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”).
A policeman’s disability application cannot be denied based upon one dissenting doctor selected by the Police Pension Board By Daniel P. Jakala and Stanley H. Jakala Administrative Law, May 2008 In a significant and ground-breaking decision rendered on November 1, 2007, the Supreme Court ruled that there is no longer a requirement that three physicians selected by the board all certify that the applicant is disabled in order for a police officer to be awarded a disability pension.
Are utilization review reports admissible into evidence? Petitioner vs. Respondent By Anita M. DeCarlo and Kelly Johnson Workers' Compensation Law, March 2008 Until recently, the only vehicle to dispute the reasonableness or necessity of treatment was via a Section 12 examination.
Personal comfort doctrine By Brad A. Antonacci Workers' Compensation Law, March 2008 This article will analyze the personal comfort doctrine in relation to both the “in the course of” and “arising out of” requirements. This article will also review the case law regarding the personal comfort doctrine and illustrate recent Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission decisions with respect to the personal comfort doctrine.
A policeman’s disability application cannot be denied based upon one dissenting doctor selected by the Police Pension Board By Daniel P. Jakala and Stanley H. Jakala Workers' Compensation Law, March 2008 Police Officer Wade was an officer with 20 years of police service. In April 2002, as Wade was escorting a handcuffed prisoner down a steep embankment, the prisoner stumbled and fell, causing the plaintiff to suddenly fall and injure his right knee
Recent cases involving utilization review By Kevin Mechler Workers' Compensation Law, March 2008 The 2005 amendments to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act included the provision for utilization review to evaluate proposed or provided health care services to determine the appropriateness and necessity of those services. 820 ILCS 305/8.7.
Street risk or positional risk? By Bradford J. Peterson Workers' Compensation Law, March 2008 Issues of compensability for claims of traveling employees often involve a distinct analysis as compared to other classes of employees. The recent case of Potenzo v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission created a further distinction, not just as to traveling employees, but further applied a concept of positional risk for traveling employees subject to an assault. 
Private investigator’s actions lead to invasion of privacy claim By Michael R. Lied Labor and Employment Law, February 2008 Private investigators can be a helpful tool for business. However, it is important to assure that the investigation does not cross over the line to create an invasion of privacy.
Attorney signature on appeal bond not sufficient By Mark Cosimini Workers' Compensation Law, December 2007 Section 19(f) of the Act sets forth the requirements for seeking a judicial review of a Commission decision and states in part.
The policy, the whole policy and nothing but the policy By Kristen A. Wadiak Workers' Compensation Law, December 2007 In a recent case of first impression, the Fifth District Appellate Court of Illinois decided that the Defendant, an insurance company, was not allowed to pick and choose which parts of their uninsured policy were applicable regarding issues of workers’ compensation setoffs.
Roberson and West Cab Co., contrasted rulings regarding employer/employee relationships By John W. Powers Workers' Compensation Law, December 2007 This year, the Supreme Court and Appellate Court issued significant decisions addressing the employer/employer relationship.
A tort plaintiff, but no defendant By Michelle L. LaFayette Workers' Compensation Law, December 2007 To the workers’ compensation practitioner, it is well-established a worker can only seek compensation from his employer pursuant to the provisions of the Workers’ Compensation Act or the Occupational Diseases Act for injuries arising out of and in the course of his employment. See, 820 ILCS 305/1 et seq.
Private investigator’s actions lead to invasion of privacy claim By Michael R. Lied Labor and Employment Law, November 2007 Private investigators can be a helpful tool for business. However, it is important to assure that the investigation does not cross over the line to create an invasion of privacy.
Exclusive remedy update By Brad E. Bleakney Workers' Compensation Law, September 2007 We are all familiar or should be familiar with the exclusive remedy provisions of the Act. Section 5(a) of the Workers Compensation Act specifically provides that payment under the Act shall be the exclusive remedy for an injured employee:
Extra scrutiny revived: S&H Floor Covering, Inc. v. Illinois Workers Compensation Commission By Ingrid M. Lulich Workers' Compensation Law, September 2007 S&H Floor Covering, Inc. v. Workers’ Compensation Commission, 373 Ill.App.3d 259 (4th Dist. 2007), at first blush appears to be a decision on the issues of notice and accident.
“I got fired. Do I still get a check?”: A summary of recent Commission decisions on temporary total disability benefits after termination By Jennifer Kiesewetter Workers' Compensation Law, September 2007 In workers’ compensation hearings, every attorney has a number of cases where temporary total disability benefits will clearly be awarded if a causal connection is found.
“Odd-lot” permanent total disability award affirmed By Frank A. Sommario Workers' Compensation Law, September 2007 A look at City of Chicago v. Illinois' Workers Compensation Commission.
Waiver of Section 5b lien By Richard D. Hannigan Workers' Compensation Law, September 2007 Did you use to worry that you waived your Section 5 lien when you entered into a settlement contract?
The elusiveness of the intoxication defense By Kevin S. Botha Workers' Compensation Law, June 2007 In a recent Rule 23 decision, the Appellate Court affirmed the judgment of the Circuit Court that confirmed the decision the Worker’s Compensation Commission awarding benefits to claimant, where the defense was based on intoxication.
Notes from the Editor By Richard D. Hannigan Workers' Compensation Law, June 2007 A message from the editor.
Overtime wages excluded from average weekly wage calculation if not worked on a regular and mandatory basis By Timothy S. McNally Workers' Compensation Law, June 2007 In Airborne Express v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, 865 N.E.2d 979, 310 Ill.Dec. 259, 2007 WL 837246 (Ill.App. 1 Dist), the First District of the Appellate Court clarified the issue of the inclusion of overtime in calculating average weekly wage.
Radosevich, continued attorney fees under §19(g) By Mark P. Matranga Workers' Compensation Law, June 2007 The last newsletter contained a discussion of the interest rate on Commission awards found in the Fourth District decision in Radosevich v. Industrial Commission, 367 Ill.App.3d, 856 N.E.2d 1, 305 Ill.Dec. 469(2006).