201706.23
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IL Special Legislative Session and Competing Workers’ Compensation Bills

Governor Bruce Rauner called a 10-day Special Session of the Illinois Legislature. The purpose of the Special Session is to address the on-going budget stalemate. In preparation for the Special Session, Republican Legislators unveiled a package of bills to address multiple issues, including Workers’ Compensation Reform. HB 4068 is the Republicans’ compromise bill in response…

201706.22
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Missouri WC Repetitive Trauma Update – Statute of Limitations: When does the clock start ticking?

There are often issues relating to the statute of limitations in carpal tunnel and other repetitive trauma cases.  When does the clock actually start ticking?  The Missouri Court of Appeals recently addressed this exact issue in the case of Lisa Cook v. Missouri Highway & Transportation Commission.   The claimant worked as a secretary for a government…

201706.14
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Indiana Employer and Its Subsidiaries Protected by the Exclusive Remedies Provision of the Act

In Brenda Hall v. Dallman Contractors, LLC, 51 N.E.3d 261 (2016), the Indiana Court of Appeals recently addressed whether an employee could pursue a negligence action against a subsidiary of AT&T, Inc., after she had already received a worker’s compensation settlement from her employer, Ameritech.  The Court of Appeals answered in the negative, barring further…

201706.08
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Illinois WC Alert – Rebutting the 6(f) Presumption

The Appellate Court recently issued a decision that clarifies how to apply the rebuttable presumptions referred to in section 6(f) of the Illinois WC Act, when firefighters and various medical professionals are diagnosed with hernias, hearing loss, or “any bloodborne pathogen, lung or respiratory disease or condition, heart or vascular disease or condition, hypertension, tuberculosis,…

201706.05
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Recent Missouri Activity Appears Favorable for Employers

Employers in Missouri should expect a continued decrease in workers’ compensation insurance costs as the Missouri Department of Insurance has recently recommended a 4.6% decrease in workers’ compensation insurance loss costs for 2017.  The loss costs are intended to cover indemnity and medical payments for injured workers as well as expenses incurred for providing these…

201706.02
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The Obstinate Children and the Illinois General Assembly

Having grown up in rural west central Illinois, surrounded by farmers and manufacturing laborers from John Deere and International Harvester, it was instilled in us even as children that we all have duties and responsibilities to make a contribution to our family, our community and the professions we serve.  As kids, these were “chores,” as…

201705.31
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I&F Prevails in IL Claim where Medical Records Contradict Petitioner’s Testimony

I&F recently prevailed at arbitration in an Illinois WC claim with a ruling that saves the employer thousands of dollars. The petitioner, a laborer, suffered a work injury to his forearm. After a course of physical therapy and activity modification, he was discharged from care. The petitioner did not seek additional treatment for almost a year, and…

201705.30
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Continuing Education Opportunity: I&F to Conduct Mock WC Trial with Illinois Chamber of Commerce – June 13, 2017

Please join us as we conduct a mock trial for an Illinois worker’s compensation case. We will demonstrate how to present a defense with strategic consideration of the burden of proof and evidentiary rules, and use of lay and expert witnesses. We will conduct direct and cross examination as well close proofs at the end…

201705.26
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I&F Prevails in IL Claim as Petitioner’s Bilateral Carpal Tunnel Held Unrelated to Work Duties

I&F recently prevailed in a trial over the disputed issue of the Petitioner’s bilateral carpal tunnel conditions.  The Petitioner alleged that her diagnoses and surgeries were due to repetitive trauma from her work as an English Teacher.  The petitioner testified that her duties during the school day required her to use her hands for attendance, grades,…

201705.25
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Missouri Commission Finds Horseplay Equals No Pay

Both in Missouri and in Illinois, accidents caused by horseplay in the workplace are usually not compensable.  Horseplay or “goofing off” is generally not acceptable behavior in the workplace as it may result in injuries to the employees.  It commonly has nothing to do with furthering the interests of the employer.  Generally, an employee actively…

201705.22
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I&F Upholds Prior Victories in Appeal before Madison County (IL) Circuit Court

Partner Kevin Deuschle previously obtained wins at Arbitration and before the Commission, awarding no benefits to the petitioner, in a case involving an allegedly work-related torn meniscus and eventual total knee replacement. The Petitioner had worked as a truck driver for the Respondent and testified that he stepped out and of his truck and down,…

201705.18
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WI Supreme Court takes first look at 2013 law that disqualifies claimants from receiving unemployment benefits for “substantial fault.”

The May 4, 2017 Wisconsin Supreme Court decision in Lela Operton v. LIRC, 2017 WI 46, highlights the need going forward for employers denying unemployment benefits to present evidence that employee errors resulting in termination were not inadvertent. In Lela Operton v. LIRC, 2017 WI 46,  the Court interpreted, for the first time, a 2013…

201705.16
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Iowa Governor Signs WC Bill

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad has signed a workers’ compensation bill that reduces benefits for injured workers, notably benefits for shoulder injuries, and decreases coverage for injuries tied to a pre-existing condition. A proposal to end permanent total disability benefits at age 67 was ultimately removed from measure, but Iowa Republicans added an amendment creating a…

201705.16
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Indiana Court of Appeals Holds Termination of Employment does NOT Bar Entitlement to TTD Benefits in Indiana

The Indiana Court of Appeals recently weighed in on an issue that could prove troublesome for Indiana employers.  In March, the Court addressed the issue of whether an injured employee was entitled to temporary total disability (“TTD”) benefits after being terminated for misconduct on the job.  Both the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Board and the Court…

201705.15
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I&F’s Lauren Waninski admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court

Inman & Fitzgibbons Associate Attorney Lauren Waninski traveled to Washington, D.C. where she had the distinct honor of appearing before the United States Supreme Court. Lauren appeared on a Motion to Admit requesting that distinction to practice law in front of the highest Court in the nation. Chief Justice of the United States, John G….

201705.10
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Illinois WC Legislative Update – May, 2017

The Illinois Legislature has been busy with Workers’ Compensation related bills and we have been busy keeping our readers up to date. There are 3 bills that we have been following, and we want to take a few minutes to bring to our readers’ attention: HB 2622 – Creates a non-profit, taxpayer funded mutual insurance…

201704.26
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I&F and Illinois Chamber of Commerce present “The Life of a Workers’ Compensation Claim”

Inman & Fitzgibbons, Ltd. attorneys Allison P. Mecher and Lauren L. Waninski recently presented “The Life of a Workers’ Compensation Claim” to the Illinois Chamber of Commerce. In this presentation, they discussed the intricacies of handling a litigated workers’ compensation claim before the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission from start to finish, as well as what to expect…

201704.18
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IL WC Update: Taking the “Voluntary” out of Voluntary Recreation Programs

Pursuant to Section 11 of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, accidental injuries incurred while participating in “voluntary recreation programs” do not arise out of and in the course of one’s employment.  Section 11 even provides some examples of voluntary recreation activities that might be subject to this exclusion such as participation in “athletic events, parties…

201704.11
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I&F Illinois Legislative Update

In addition to our regular duties defending employers and insurers across the Midwest, I&F maintains a dedicated Legislative Watch Group that stays up to date on all relevant legislative and administrative matters in the jurisdictions in which we practice. Although we are still waiting for a state budget(!), Illinois legislators are managing to stay busy…

201703.30
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Temporary Transitional Employment in Illinois

Transitional Temporary Employment plans or programs (TTE) are a tool used to address return to work issues. In these programs a third party vendor is typically used to locate temporary employment for the petitioner when their work restrictions cannot be accommodated by their employers. These programs come into play during two pivotal points in the…

201703.27
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I&F Presents to Hotel Human Resources Association of Chicago

Inman & Fitzgibbons, Ltd. attorneys Steve Murdock and Allison Mecher recently presented to the Hotel Human Resources Association of Chicago on two topics related to Illinois Workers’ Compensation Law. They first presented on the topic of “Accident Investigation,” covering the basics of Illinois Workers’ Compensation Law, discussing best practices for accident investigation, and providing useful tips…

201703.17
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I&F Presents 2016 Illinois Workers’ Compensation Case Law Year in Review Webinar

On February 16, 2017, Jynnifer Bates and Mark Carter hosted a webinar entitled “2016 Illinois Workers’ Compensation Case Law Year in Review” through the Illinois Chamber of Commerce. From case law to legislation, as well as the overall direction of the practice, they reviewed the landscape of Illinois WC law.  The webinar included a discussion…

201703.15
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Elimination of WC Review Board Sought by Governor Walker of Wisconsin

On February 8, 2017 Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker  submitted his 2017-2019 budget recommendations under Assembly Bill 64 and Senate Bill 30.  Therein, Governor Walker has proposed the elimination of the State’s Labor and Industry Review Commission (LIRC). Under current law, administrative law judge workers’ compensation decisions can be appealed to the LIRC, which is a…

201703.06
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A CMS Policy for LMSA Reviews is Imminent

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently issued documentation signaling that Liability Medicare Set-Asides (LMSAs) and No-Fault Medicare Set-Asides (NFMSAs) will be notated fields in CMS’ Common Working File. Effective October 1, 2017, Medicare Administrative Contractors will begin denying payment for services associated with an open LMSA or NFMSA record. The CMS Manual Update…