Tolbert v. The Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission

Illinois Appellate Court
Civil Court
Workers' Compensation
Case Number: 
2014 IL App (4th) 130523WC
Decision Date: 
Thursday, June 5, 2014
4th Dist.
McLean Co.
Reversed and remanded to Commission.
Claimant worked in grain elevators, including cleaning grain elevators and bins, and he was exposed to significant airborne dust particles including dried bird droppings. Doctors diagnosed him with lung condition caused by fungus usually associated with bird droppings. Commission's finding that Claimant did not give sufficient notice under Section 6(c) of Workers' Compensation Act is contrary to manifest weight of evidence. Although Claimant and his doctor initially thought he had cancer, employer knew of his respiratory conditions and work exposure, and initial inaccuracy in diagnosis did not prejudice employer. Failure to discovery causal connection until after employment relationship ended does not justify denial of benefits for injuries suffered during employment. (HOLDRIDGE, HOFFMAN, HUDSON, and HARRIS, concurring.)