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Workers' Compensation LawThe newsletter of the ISBA’s Section on Workers’ Compensation Law

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Newsletter articles from 2012

2011 year in review—A summary of appellate case law By Cameron B. Clark and Catherine Krenz Doan January 2012 A brief summary of the past year's issues and holdings of the appellate court in 30 court opinions.
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 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.
Defending the claim for an odd-lot permanent total disability By Richard D. Hannigan July 2012 In the case of Professional Transportation v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, the Commission awarded the injured worker permanent total disability benefits based upon the odd-lot theory.  
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 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 September 2012 A message from Editor Rich Hannigan.
Editor’s notes By Richard D. Hannigan July 2012 A message from Editor Richard D. Hannigan.
Editor’s notes By Richard D. Hannigan April 2012 A message from Newsletter Editor Rich Hannigan.
Editor’s notes By Richard D. Hannigan January 2012 An introduction to the issue from Editor Rich Hannigan.
Intoxication: Proposed testing rules and certain crimes defense By Robert J. Finley 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.
Lessons learned on the eighth floor By Jerry Jutila 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.
Lessons learned on the eighth floor By Jerry Jutila 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.
Medicare issues in workers’ compensation cases—What every practitioner should know By Nicole M. Schnoor 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.
Penalties for delay in authorization for medical treatment? No dice. A respondent’s perspective By Shuaib Ahmed 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.
Should the Legislature consider further changes to the Act? By Richard D. Hannigan 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.
Taking the “headache” out of the settlement process By Michelle L. LaFayette 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.
Third party immune from liability pursuant to Section 5(a) of the Act By Richard D. Hannigan 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.
To mail or not to mail, that is the question By Richard D. Hannigan July 2012 In Mark Grusveczka v. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, the Appellate Court denied a Petition for Rehearing on March 20, 2012 but dissenting Justice Holdridge and Justice Stewart certified the question to the Illinois Supreme Court.
What are the duties and obligations of the parties with respect to initiating vocational rehabilitation? By Anita M. DeCarlo and Deborah A. Benzing September 2012 As is evidenced by the contradicting case law detailed in this article, there are many unanswered questions with respect to vocational rehabilitation.
What consequences does an employer face when there is a refusal to authorize treatment? A petitioner’s perspective By Richard D. Hannigan July 2012 A summary of the recent case of Hollywood Casino – Aurora v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission.
What does it mean when, at oral argument before the Appellate Court Workers’ Compensation Commission Division, one of the justices asks you “why do you think we have jurisdiction?” By Richard D. Hannigan September 2012 Supreme Catering v Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission concerns original jurisdiction as it is vested in the circuit and appellate court in matters wherein a summons has been issued for appeal of Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission decision.
When is a “bonus” not really a bonus and included in the average weekly wage? When is “overtime” included? By Lawrence A. Scordino 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.