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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 2016

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 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.
Are flight attendants always traveling employees? By Richard D. Hannigan April 2016 The appellate court answered this question earlier this year in United Airlines Inc. v. IWCC.
Can you enforce part of a decision while the decision as a whole is on review? By Anita DeCarlo 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.”
Can’t have your cake & eat it too! By Ahmed Shuaib April 2016 A discussion of the exclusive remedy provision and election under the Workers' Compensation Act.
Case analysis of Michael K. Durbin v. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission 2016 IL App (4th) 150088WC By Rago Mattero 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.”
Editor’s note: Malpractice alert By Richard D. Hannigan April 2016 The parties to a motion to reinstate would be best served if they make a record and offer a good reason as to why the claim should be reinstated.
Editor’s notes By Richard D. Hannigan September 2016 News and recent updates from Editor Rich Hannigan.
Editor’s notes By Richard D. Hannigan July 2016 An introduction to the issue from Editor Rich Hannigan.
Editor’s notes By Richard D. Hannigan April 2016 A message from Editor Rich Hannigan.
Employers maintain their right to waive lien subsequent to adverse judgment By Brittany N. Meeker 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.
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 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.
Houchin v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission: When a delayed surgery turns into a different surgery By Joseph K. Guyette 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.
The interplay of simultaneous awards of PTD and wage differential benefits By Brittany Meeker 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.
A job classification change and its impact on the average weekly wage calculation By Sandy Loeb 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.
Kathleen A. Hagan v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission By Timothy O’Gorman 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 M. Jeep 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.
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 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 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.
Should you try a nature and extent case without a sixth edition AMA guideline rating? By Richard D. Hannigan and Cameron B. Clark 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 does the 19(h) review time limitation begin to run? By Richard D. Hannigan 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.” 
Will we ever be able to go on vacation again? By Richard D. Hannigan April 2016 When you go on vacation are you taking a complete rest from work?