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Workers’ Compensation Law
The newsletter of the ISBA’s Section on Workers’ Compensation Law

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Newsletter Articles From 2015

Analysis of Village of Deerfield v. Illinois Workers Compensation Commission, 2014 Ill. App (2d) 131202WC (2014) By Stephen G. Baime April 2015 If one sustains two injuries on two separate dates to two different parts of the body and consolidates the claims for trial, he can collect a percentage of a person on one and a wage differential on the second one even if the part of the body in the second case could have resulted in a person as a whole award.
Calculation of AWW By Lindsey Beukema February 2015 In R & D Thiel, A Division of Carpenter Contractors of America v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Comm’n, the Court issued a Rule 23 Order addressing the calculation of average weekly wage using the second method of Section 10.
Can an early retirement package prior to the attainment of MMI affect your entitlement to temporary total disability benefits and permanent total disability? A case study of: Sharwarko v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Comm’n, 2015 IL App (1st) 131 By Joseph K. Guyette June 2015 Ultimately, this case will help define when a petitioner has voluntarily retired, and when the refusal to accept a job offer will result in the termination of temporary total disability benefits.
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 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.
Can you withdraw your consent to depose a witness? How can you cite a Commission decision as precedent at the appellate court level? By Peter Corti and Megan Kivisto April 2015 It is still not a good idea to cite Commission decisions to the appellate court. However, when faced with an argument that there is “no case law” on an issue when there actually is, you can present it in such a manner to show that, while you are certainly well aware that the unrelated Commission decision has no precedential effect at the appellate level, the Act dictates that it did have precedential effect before the Commission.
Case analysis of Di Benedetto v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation 2015 IL App (1st) 133233WC By Matteo Rago 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.
Circuit court has jurisdiction to resolve disputes involving attorney referral agreements By Shuaib Ahmed April 2015 In Ferris, Thompson and Zweig, Ltd. v. Esposito, the Illinois Supreme Court addressed the issue of whether the Legislature intended to divest the Circuit Court jurisdiction and confer original jurisdiction on the Commission to resolve a dispute based on a referral agreement apportioning attorney fees earned in a claim filed under the Workers’ Compensation Act.
Claimant’s left knee injury while sitting on a chair and welding “arises out of his employment” By Cameron B. Clark 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 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.
Constructive selection doctrine used to overcome two physician rule By Brittany N. Meeker February 2015 A summary of Bob Red Remodeling, Inc. v. Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission and Zenon Lemanski.
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 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 the Commission have jurisdiction to approve settlements in two out of three consolidated claims? By Lawrence A. Scordino February 2015 The strange little case of The Levy Company v. IWCC and Jorge Merlos arose when the claimant, Jorge Merlos filed two claims, for alleged 2003 and 2005 shoulder injuries. While those claims were pending, he returned to work with restrictions in 2007.
Does the IWCC have jurisdiction to assess penalties for failure to make payment of benefits once a settlement contract is final? By Richard D. Hannigan June 2015 A look at Loyola University of Chicago v. The Illinois Worker’s Compensation Commission.
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 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.
Editor’s notes By Richard D. Hannigan December 2015 News and updates from Editor Rich Hannigan.
Editor’s notes By Richard D. Hannigan September 2015 News and updates from Editor Rich Hannigan.
Editor’s notes By Richard D. Hannigan June 2015 Editor Rich Hannigan offers the latest in IWCC news.
Editor’s notes By Richard D. Hannigan April 2015 News and updates of interest to workers' compensation law practitioners.
Editor’s notes By Richard D. Hannigan February 2015 News and updates of interest to workers' compensation law practitioners.
Employer’s due process rights were not violated by admission of treating physician’s medical opinions pursuant to Section 16 of the Act By Catherine Krenz Doan February 2015 In RG Construction Services v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, the issue before the appellate court was whether Employer was denied its due process right to cross-examine witnesses or present rebuttal evidence of the opinions of Claimant’s treating physicians that were contained in the medical records.
Good faith third-party settlement and section 5(b) attorney fees on “suspended future medical payments” By Lawrence A. Scordino December 2015 A summary of Ronald Bayer v. Panduit Corporation and Area Erectors, Inc.
How inclusive is the exclusive remedy? By Anita M. DeCarlo 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 September 2015 An examination of Steel & Machinery Transport, Inc. v. Workers’ Compensation Commission.
Interview with Arbitrator Joann Fratianni By Richard D. Hannigan April 2015 This interview, originally conducted in August of 2009, is still relevant today.
PPG Industries: When are job duties irrelevant? By Joseph K. Guyette February 2015 In PPG Industries v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, the Respondent argued that evidence of the Petitioner’s job duties should be considered irrelevant when that evidence is over three years old. While the appellate court rejected that argument, it left open the possibility that older evidence of a Petitioner’s work duties may be admissible at trial.
A quick snapshot of the 2014 appellate court decisions By Deborah Benzing April 2015 Summaries of cases decided last year.
A race to the bottom and your practice may hang in the balance: Springfield 2015 By Richard D. Hannigan and Patrick D. Czuprynski June 2015 A discussion of the legislation currently moving through the Illinois General Assembly that would impact workers' compensation law.
When do you qualify as a traveling employee? By Robert J. Finley September 2015 The traveling employee case generally presents an uncertain path to benefits due to the fact-specific nature of the inquiry.