Section Newsletter Articles on Workers' Compensation Law

A worker’s compensation primer for non-work comp attorneys By Paul R. Popovic Young Lawyers Division, February 2013 This primer gives you an idea of how workers’ compensation works, why we have it, and to whom it applies. At the very least, you will have a response the next time a friend, family member or client asks you about their injury at work.
Appellate court reverses Commission’s finding “arising out of” to be against the manifest weight of the evidence By Richard D. Hannigan Workers' Compensation Law, January 2013 In another Rule 23 case, Illinois State Treasurer, as ex officio Custodian of the Injured Workers Benefit Fund v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (Joseph Mese), the Appellate Court reversed the IWCC’s finding that the petitioner’s injuries arose out of and in the course of her employment.
Bank teller’s alleged intentional-tort claim is “held up” by exclusivity provision of the Act By Cameron B. Clark Workers' Compensation Law, January 2013 In Glasgow v. Associated Banc-Corp., a bank teller who was allegedly injured during a bank robbery brought an intentional tort action against the bank and branch where she worked.
Person as a whole vs. 8(d)(1) wage differential, a Rule 23 decision By Richard D. Hannigan Workers' Compensation Law, January 2013 In Illinois Tool Works v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, filed January 3, 2012, the claimant injured his low back on March 21, 2003 and underwent a lumbar diskectomy at L4-5 on March 22, 2004.
Pipe-fitter fits the role of a traveling employee By Catherine Krenz Doan Workers' Compensation Law, January 2013 A summary of Venture-Newberg Perini Stone and Webster v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission.
Prior stipulation by employer dooms its jurisdictional argument By Cameron B. Clark Workers' Compensation Law, January 2013 IIngrassia Interior Elements v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, the claimant filed a Petition for Review of the Arbitrator’s decision denying his claim pursuant to the Act.
Truck driver hauls in the necessary evidence to establish an employer-employee relationship and employer loses jurisdictional argument due to service on the Commission By Cameron B. Clark Workers' Compensation Law, January 2013 In Labuz v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, both the claimant, a truck driver, and his purported employer sought review of the decision of the Commission awarding claimant certain benefits for neck, back and left shoulder injuries.
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.