Publications

Section Newsletter Articles on Workers' Compensation Law

Drug-testing after workplace injuries: Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act likely not a workaround to new OSHA rule By Philip J. Pence Labor and Employment Law, December 2016 As of August 10, 2016, employers may no longer use blanket or automatic drug-testing policies after workplace injuries occur if the policy can be seen as an adverse action against the employee reporting the injury.
Good-faith settlement—When to settle By Albert E. Durkin Tort Law, October 2016 A look at the factors all parties must take into consideration when deciding when and how to settle a workers’ compensation case involving a third-party defendant/employer.
Case analysis of Michael K. Durbin v. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission 2016 IL App (4th) 150088WC By Rago Mattero Workers' Compensation Law, September 2016 This case spotlights the need to ensure that any opinion advocated at a hearing before the Commission must be based “on a reasonable degree of medical and surgical certainty.”
First District panel in Rule 23 order: Claimant proved quantitatively greater exposure to neutral risk— (Hagan v. IWCC, 2016 IL App (1st) 143745WC-U) May, 2016 By Randal J. Miller Workers' Compensation Law, September 2016 In this case, the First District Appellate Court focused on whether the claimant proved the “arising out of” element of a worker’s compensation claim.
The interplay of simultaneous awards of PTD and wage differential benefits By Brittany Meeker Workers' Compensation Law, September 2016 In its ruling, the Appellate Court noted that there was nothing in the Act or in the accompanying case law that prohibited an award of both PTD and wage differential benefits simultaneously under circumstances such as those presented in this case.
Kathleen A. Hagan v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission By Timothy O’Gorman Workers' Compensation Law, September 2016 In Kathleen A. Hagan v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, the Appellate Court examined what is considered a “neutral risk” compared to an “employment risk” and overturned the findings of a Special Arbitrator in favor of a Commission employee.
Late notice rejected as defense to repetitive trauma case By Markham Jeep Workers' Compensation Law, September 2016 The recent decision in Heyl, Royster, Voelker & Allen v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission again addresses the difficulty of determining the date of accident for injuries which develop over time and for which symptoms gradually increase.
Appellate court issues decision on June 28, 2016 regarding the failure of the parties to offer an AMA rating exam into evidence By Richard D. Hannigan and Cameron B. Clark Workers' Compensation Law, July 2016 With the decision in Corn Belt Energy Corp. v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, the courts are one step closer to resolving the issue of whether the submission of a PPD rating report into evidence (also referred to as an AMA rating examination) is mandatory in order for the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission to award permanent partial disability benefits.
Can you enforce part of a decision while the decision as a whole is on review? By Anita DeCarlo Workers' Compensation Law, July 2016 In Reed v. IWCC, the Appellate Court held “that plaintiff may not apply for a judgment on the medical expenses portion of his workers’ compensation award pursuant to section 19(g) of the Act because, at the time of his application, proceedings for review were pending.”
Houchin v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission: When a delayed surgery turns into a different surgery By Joseph K. Guyette Workers' Compensation Law, July 2016 In a Supreme Court Rule 23 decision, the Appellate Court found that the need for the knee replacement flowed from the original accident, awarding the Petitioner the right to pursue that procedure. Even though this Rule 23 decision does not constitute a binding precedent, it provides some insight as to how the courts may evaluate this issue going forward.
A job classification change and its impact on the average weekly wage calculation By Sandy Loeb Workers' Compensation Law, July 2016 In ABF Freight System v. IWCC, the Appellate Court discussed yet another nuance that should be considered when calculating an injured worker’s average weekly wage.
Should you try a nature and extent case without a sixth edition AMA guideline rating? By Richard D. Hannigan and Cameron B. Clark Workers' Compensation Law, July 2016 If you are considering trying a case in the near future and permanent partial disability is an issue, the authors suggest you consider whether you wish to have an AMA rating submitted to the arbitrator for consideration.
When determining whether an employee is entitled to permanency pursuant to Section 8(d) (2) or alternatively pursuant to 8(d) (1), the crucial issue is whether the claimant has suffered an impairment of earning capacity By Deborah A. Benzing Workers' Compensation Law, July 2016 A look at the issues involved in Jackson Park Hospital v. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission.
When does the 19(h) review time limitation begin to run? By Richard D. Hannigan Workers' Compensation Law, July 2016 Does it begin to run after the decision has been entered by the Commission? Does it begin to run once a Circuit Court decision becomes final? Alternatively, does it begin to run once an appellate court or Supreme Court decision becomes final? The answer is “it all depends.” 
Are flight attendants always traveling employees? By Richard D. Hannigan Workers' Compensation Law, April 2016 The appellate court answered this question earlier this year in United Airlines Inc. v. IWCC.
Can’t have your cake & eat it too! By Ahmed Shuaib Workers' Compensation Law, April 2016 A discussion of the exclusive remedy provision and election under the Workers' Compensation Act.
Employers maintain their right to waive lien subsequent to adverse judgment By Brittany N. Meeker Workers' Compensation Law, April 2016 The case of Cozzone v. Garda GL Great Lakes, et. al, presented the issue of whether an employer could waive its Section 5(b) rights under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act after an adverse circuit court judgment was rendered.
Section 13-217 of the Code of Civil Procedure does not apply to Illinois workers’ compensation cases that are dismissed for want of prosecution By Timothy C. Steil Workers' Compensation Law, April 2016 A summary of the recent case of Farrar v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Comm’n.
Semi truck driver found to be an independent contractor of transportation company By Courtney M. Quilter Workers' Compensation Law, April 2016 The case of Esquinca v. IWCC presented the issue of whether claimant, a semi truck driver, was an employee of Respondent, a transportation company.
Illinois Human Rights Commission decision summary Labor and Employment Law, February 2016 A summary of John D. Terry and Watts Copy Systems.
Case analysis of Di Benedetto v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation 2015 IL App (1st) 133233WC By Matteo Rago Workers' Compensation Law, December 2015 In DiBenedetto, the court focused on the issue of what date should be utilized in determining the commencement of a wage-differential benefit: Is it the date of claimant’s accidental injury or the date of the arbitration hearing? The court also addressed the maximum weekly benefit allowable under Section 8(b)(4) of the Act.
Claimant’s left knee injury while sitting on a chair and welding “arises out of his employment” By Cameron B. Clark Workers' Compensation Law, December 2015 In Adcock v. IWCC, the appellate court reviewed the requirement that a claimant must show by a preponderance of the evidence that his injury “arose out of” and “in the course of” his employment in order to be compensable.
The Commission may find disability when the impairment rating is zero, but is an impairment rating required in all cases before the Commission can determine the nature and extent of an injury? By John W. Powers Workers' Compensation Law, December 2015 On November 6, 2015, the Illinois Appellate Court filed its decision for Continental Tire of the Americas, LLC v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Comm’n. holding the Commission may, as a matter of law, award permanency when an impairment rating is zero.
Good faith third-party settlement and section 5(b) attorney fees on “suspended future medical payments” By Lawrence A. Scordino Workers' Compensation Law, December 2015 A summary of Ronald Bayer v. Panduit Corporation and Area Erectors, Inc.
Can the Circuit Court hold commissioners in contempt of court for failing to write a decision in the manner demanded by the Court? By Richard D. Hannigan Workers' Compensation Law, September 2015 The answer to the title of this article is that the trier of fact and law has the right and power to be wrong.
Does the circuit court have jurisdiction regarding the settlement of a third-party claim and his subsequent filing of an Application for Adjustment of Claim by the injured worker? By Robert J. Finley Workers' Compensation Law, September 2015 In Bradley v. The City of Marion, Illinois et al, practitioners are left with a lesson on where and how to resolve claims to future workers compensation under similar circumstances because of jurisdictional considerations.
Does your client’s workers’ compensation benefits abate if your client dies of causes unrelated to the workplace injury? By Sandra Loeb and Samuel Branum Workers' Compensation Law, September 2015 Though it may not come up often, there may be a time when you file an application for adjustment of claim on behalf of an injured worker that dies from causes unrelated to the work injury before his or her case has resolved.
How inclusive is the exclusive remedy? By Anita M. DeCarlo Workers' Compensation Law, September 2015 In Dominique Kay v. Centegra Health System, the Court found plaintiff did not have the right to pursue a negligence case based upon the exclusive remedy provision found in Section 5(a) of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act.
Independent truck driver vs. employee By Kenneth F. Werts Workers' Compensation Law, September 2015 An examination of Steel & Machinery Transport, Inc. v. Workers’ Compensation Commission.