Publications

Section Newsletter Articles on Workers' Compensation Law

Bad things happen when the adjuster hangs onto the file By Richard D. Hannigan Workers' Compensation Law, December 2009 All too often an adjuster will hang onto a file until either just before or just after a hearing. The file will then be sent to the defense attorney and the defense attorney is then given the herculean task of trying to unring a bell or put toothpaste back in the tube.  
Certification of medical records—What are the safeguards to completeness and accuracy? By Timothy S. McNally Workers' Compensation Law, December 2009 In reviewing an opponent’s certified medical exhibits prior to trial, how can a practitioner be assured that he or she received complete records?
Despite conviction for battery, claimant was not collaterally estopped from arguing the issue of “aggressor” in a workplace altercation By Cameron B. Clark Workers' Compensation Law, December 2009 In Bassgar, Inc. v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, 2009 WL 3367053 (Ill.App.3d Dist., October 15, 2009), the Illinois Appellate Court held that the evidence submitted at arbitration supported the Commission’s finding that the claimant was not the initial aggressor in an altercation, and thus claimant’s arm injury was compensable. 
First-grade reading teacher properly calculated AWW By Cameron B. Clark Workers' Compensation Law, December 2009 In Washington District 50 Schools v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, 2009 WL 3366466 (Ill.App.3d Dist., October 16, 2009), the Illinois Appellate Court, in a case of first impression, found that the time for which a school teacher was retained to work defines her “employment” with regard to the calculation of her average weekly wage under Section 10 of the Act.
November 16, 2009 Interview with Arbitrator Edward Lee By Richard D. Hannigan Workers' Compensation Law, December 2009 Arbitrator Lee, on behalf of the Illinois State Bar Association I would like to thank you for this opportunity to sit down and discuss your background and experience as an arbitrator at the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission.
Wallyball: A Section 11 “Recreational” Activity . . . not always By Michelle L. LaFayette Workers' Compensation Law, December 2009 Webster’s New World Dictionary of American English defines the word “recreation” to mean “refreshment in body or mind, as after work, by some form of play, amusement or relaxation.” ... Recreational activities are therefore those that people use to escape from the pressures of work and everyday life to have fun and relax – exercise, organized sports, etc.
2008 Illinois Workers’ Compensation Annual Report By Brad E. Bleakney Workers' Compensation Law, September 2009 On June 30, 2009, the Commission released its Annual Report of Operations for 2008.
The appellate court discusses the burden of proof in a stray bullet case By Carol A. Hartline Workers' Compensation Law, September 2009 A summary of the case of Restaurant Development v. Hee Suk Oh.
Case Note: Forsythe, et al. v. Clark USA, Inc. By Kevin T. Veugeler Tort Law, September 2009 In a case of first impression, the Illinois Supreme Court has recognized a cause of action against a parent company for the actions of its subsidiary that results in a workplace injury.
Interview with Arbitrator Joann Fratianni By Richard D. Hannigan Workers' Compensation Law, September 2009 Get to know more about Arbitrator Joann Fratianni.
Can the Commission award penalties pursuant § 19(k) and 16 for prospective medical care? By Richard D. Hannigan Workers' Compensation Law, June 2009 In what was first a Rule 23 order entered March 6, 2009 and now a published decision filed May 13, 2009, the Illinois Appellate Court, Workers’ Compensation Division, in Residential Carpentry v. Workers’ Compensation Commission, No. 03-08-0122WC, affirmed a case where the arbitrator awarded temporary total disability benefits and penalties on prospective medical expenses.  
Does a 4(c) petition and/or a rule to show cause survive an approved settlement contract? By Richard D. Hannigan Workers' Compensation Law, June 2009 On April 14, 2009 the author had the opportunity to be present during the Appellate Court oral argument when two former presidents of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Association went toe-to-toe on a rule to show cause filed by the petitioner’s attorney Richard Aleksy against the adjuster and insurance company who where represented by Ms. Elaine Newquist.
Interview with Arbitrator Ruth White, May 12, 2009 By Robert C. Nelson Workers' Compensation Law, June 2009 Get to know more about Arbitrator Ruth White.
Medical bills: What a dilemma! By Richard D. Hannigan Workers' Compensation Law, June 2009 Resolving issues regarding medical bills and expenses have become a daunting task for the petitioner’s attorney and the respondent. This is true whether the case is contested or uncontested.  
Supreme Court reinstates Commission award of concurrent statutory permanent total disability & scheduled loss of arms By Kevin S. Botha Workers' Compensation Law, June 2009 The case of Beelman Trucking v. IWCC was appealed to the Illinois Supreme Court, and on May 21, 2009, the Illinois Supreme Court issued its unanimous decision authored by Justice Garman reversing the Appellate Court in part and found that the Petitioner was entitled to both 100 percent loss of use of each arm under §8(e)(10) as well as statutory PTD benefits pursuant to §8(e)(18) as a result of 100 percent loss of use of both legs. 
Are we ready for the electronic revolution? By Kelly Johnson Workers' Compensation Law, March 2009 Can a lump sum settlement be paid by direct deposit?
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Is it work-related? By Linda A. Robert Workers' Compensation Law, March 2009 In light of the medical research presented in this article, there should be a decrease in carpal tunnel claims that are accepted as compensable. There is no scientific or medical basis for relating carpal tunnel syndrome to work activities. When there is no medical evidence to support finding a causal connection between carpal tunnel syndrome and work activities, the Commission should not make legal conclusions to the contrary.
The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act provides only one mechanism under which an arbitrator can recall a decision By Emily E. Borg Workers' Compensation Law, March 2009 The holding in Smalley Steel Ring Company v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission begs the question as to who maintains jurisdiction over a workers’ compensation claim after a decision has been issued by an Arbitrator, but before the 30 days in which to file an appeal to the Commission has expired.
Interview with Arbitrator Jennifer Teague, January 8, 2009 By Robert C. Nelson Workers' Compensation Law, March 2009 Get to know more about Arbitrator Jennifer Teague.
Interview with Chairman Amy Masters By Richard D. Hannigan Workers' Compensation Law, March 2009 Get to know about Amy Masters, chairperson of the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission.
Undocumented worker is awarded permanent total disability benefits By Kevin S. Botha Workers' Compensation Law, March 2009 In a landmark decision, Economy Packing Co v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Comm’n, the Appellate Court affirmed an order from the Circuit Court of Cook County which confirmed the decision of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission that awarded the Petitioner permanent total disability benefits pursuant to the Workers’ Compensation Act.
Workers’ Compensation liens and employer’s uninsured motorist coverage By Brad E. Bleakney Workers' Compensation Law, March 2009 The Illinois Supreme Court rarely decides a workers’ compensation lien case, so attorneys should take the time to study these recent 5(b) lien decisions involving uninsured motorist coverage.  
Claimant not entitled to TTD when terminated for cause: The Interstate Scaffolding case By Lindsey S. Strom Workers' Compensation Law, December 2008 The Interstate Scaffolding case is currently the hot topic in the world of Workers’ Compensation.
The Commission does not have the power to award permanent partial disability and permanent total disability when the injuries arise out of the same accident By Joseph Mulvey Workers' Compensation Law, December 2008 In Beelman Trucking v. Workers’ Compensation Comm’n, 886 N.E.2d 479 (5th Dist., 2008), the Fifth District addressed three issues: (1) whether Petitioner was entitled to an award of PPD under section 8(e)(10) and PTD under section 8(e)(18); (2) whether Petitioner was entitled to a voice activated computer system under section 8(a); and (3) whether Petitioner was entitled to reimbursement under section 8(a) for increased car insurance premiums related to the handicap modifications endorsement.
Full-time employee’s overtime to be included in average weekly wage calculation when less than 40 regular hours are worked in a week By Christopher K. Triska Workers' Compensation Law, December 2008 Based on the finding in Airborne Exp., Inc. v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Com’n, we have all grown accustomed to simply ignoring and excluding overtime wages indicated in wage statements when the overtime is not mandatory or a consistent part of an employee’s work week. Airborne Exp., Inc. v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Com’n, 865 N.E.2d 979 (1st Dist. 2007).
Illinois Workers Compensation Annual Report 2007 By Brad E. Bleakney Workers' Compensation Law, December 2008 On October 2, 2008, the Commission released its Annual Report of Operations.
Interview with Arbitrator Gerald Jutila October 31, 2008/November 13, 2008 By Richard D. Hannigan Workers' Compensation Law, December 2008 Hannigan: First, I’d like to thank you for allowing me to sit down with you. How are you doing today?
IWCC expands employer’s obligation to include unrelated medical treatment By Mark Cosimini Workers' Compensation Law, December 2008 There are two aspects of every Workers’ Compensation claim which have remained constant for decades.
Making a list and checking it twice By Chris Gullen Workers' Compensation Law, December 2008 Parties to personal injury claims of Medicare beneficiaries who continue ignoring their duties under federal law could get a wake up call next year.
Mandatory overtime and average weekly wage By Brad E. Bleakney Workers' Compensation Law, December 2008 The 18-year battle over including or excluding overtime hours in the calculation of average weekly wage continues to rage.