202001.15
0

Michigan WC Update: Fringe Benefits and Average Weekly Wage – How does it all add up?

Calculating the average weekly wage (AWW) to determine wage loss benefits is a routine, but critical part of the worker’s compensation case analysis. While the benefit calculator simplifies the math, the decision to include or not to include certain line items in the AWW calculation can be a fluid evaluation. The method of calculating AWW…

202001.10
0

I&F Prevails on Appeal to Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission in Carpal Tunnel Case

Attorney Allison Mecher prevailed in an appeal to the IWCC in defense of an alleged repetitive trauma claim. The claimant, an Administrative Assistant/Executive Assistant to the Sheriff, sought workers’ compensation benefits for repetitive trauma carpal tunnel syndrome related to her job duties. The claimant’s treating doctor diagnosed carpal tunnel syndrome requiring surgery, and causally related…

201908.29
0

I&F Prevails in Illinois WC Dispute over Light Duty Job Offer

Congratulations to Partner Jack Shanahan for an outstanding Illinois WC Arbitration result. In this case, the petitioner was injured in a confirmed accident in 2014 when a hand-jack rolled over her foot, causing immediate complaints of pain and need for treatment. Disputes arose shortly thereafter as to an offer of light duty work within petitioner’s restrictions, and…

201907.17
0

Wisconsin WC Update: LIRC Affirms Award of Permanent Total Disability

On June 28, 2019 the Labor and Industry Review Commission (LIRC) affirmed a decision of the administrative law judge awarding applicant permanent total disability. In Timothy J. Rothe v. Con-Way Freight, Inc. (LIRC, 2017-003735),  applicant filed an occupational disease claim alleging that his work exposure over a 25 year period caused or was a material contributory…

201906.05
0

IL Amends Exclusive Remedy Provisions of WC and OD Acts

On May 17, 2019, Governor JB Pritzker signed SB 1596 into law as Public Act 101-0006. The new law amends the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act and the Occupational Diseases Act by removing the exclusive remedy provisions of those Acts as to employees whose latent work injuries manifest more than 25 years after the last date of…

201905.31
0

Illinois Will Soon Join a Growing List of States to Legalize Marijuana for Recreational Use – How Might This Impact Employers’ Rights?

For any of our readers keeping up with the local news, you will have noticed that Illinois is no longer “considering” or “discussing” whether it should legalize marijuana for recreational use just as 10 other states have done over the past several years.  As public opinion on the issue of legalization of recreational marijuana relaxes…

201903.15
1

IL Gov. Pritzker shakes up IWCC with New Appointments

Earlier today, Gov. Pritzker announced that he is appointing Michael Brennan as Chairman of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. He replaces Joan Fratiani-Atsaves. Other Commission appointments include two, new Public Commissioners. Moving up from her arbitrator position and replacing Mike Brennan is Barbara Flores. Josh Luskin is being replaced by Maria Portela. Both of the Labor Commissioners also…

201903.15
0

SB1596 Passes the Illinois House of Representatives

Following our prior post regarding this piece of legislation, we can now report that on March 14, 2019, the Illinois House of Representatives passed SB1596 on a 70-40-1partisan roll call.  Several key issues that Rep. Jay Hoffman (D-Collinsville), one of the sponsors of the Bill, clarified in debate were: 1) the legislation only applies to individuals diagnosed after…

201903.14
0

Illinois Work Comp Back on the Table with IL SB1596

This Bill amends the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act and the Workers’ Occupational Diseases Act. The Bill provides that certain specific Sections of the Acts limiting recovery do not apply to injuries or death caused by an occupational disease as to which the recovery of compensation benefits under the Acts would be precluded due to the…

201903.08
0

Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce urges Governor to Reconsider Proposed Decriminalization of Recreational Marijuana

In a February press conference outlining his state budget, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers proposed overhauling the state’s marijuana laws to make the drug’s medical use legal, decriminalize possession, and align the state’s laws on CBD oil with federal standards. In his proposal, the governor also laid out his plan to decriminalize the possession, production or distribution of…

201903.07
0

The Illinois General Assembly Takes a Fast and Hard Aim at the WC and OD Acts

It was not front and center on Governor Pritzker’s platform that he would be looking to push changes to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission personnel or procedures or pushing for changes to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act or Occupational Disease Act, but there were and continue to be quiet discussions at the IWCC and in…

201902.27
0

Illinois: Injuries Sustained During Voluntary Recreational Programs

According to Section 11 of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, accidental injuries incurred while participating in voluntary recreational programs – including but not limited to athletic events, parties, and picnics – do not arise out of and in the course of the employment even though the employer pays some or all of the cost thereof. This exclusion…

201902.27
0

Illinois: Injuries Sustained During Voluntary Recreational Programs

According to Section 11 of the Illinois Workers Compensation Act, accidental injuries incurred while participating in voluntary recreational programs – including but not limited to athletic events, parties, and picnics – do not arise out of and in the course of the employment even though the employer pays some or all of the cost thereof….

201902.26
0

Idiopathic Fall onto Level Floor Might Be Compensable in Iowa

The Iowa Supreme Court has recently rendered an opinion on an issue of first impression –  compensability for an idiopathic fall on a hard floor, resulting in head injuries, (Bluml v. Dee Jay’s Inc. No. 18-0317, Nov. 16, 2018).  Claimant, a fast food employee was handling a customer order when he suffered a seizure and fell backwards…

201902.25
0

Idiopathic Fall onto Level Floor Might Be Compensable in Iowa

The Iowa Supreme Court has recently rendered an opinion on an issue of first impression –  compensability for an idiopathic fall on a hard floor, resulting in head injuries, (Bluml v. Dee Jay’s Inc. No. 18-0317, Nov. 16, 2018).  Claimant, a fast food employee was handling a customer order when he suffered a seizure and…

201901.20
0

I&F Prevails where Illinois Arbitrator finds No Compensable Accident

I&F Attorney Michael Bantz obtained a successful result in recent litigation, where the Petitioner’s fall was found not to arise out of her employment. The Petitioner testified at trial that she had fallen on the stairs that led into the correctional facility where she worked.  She further testified that she had been carrying bags in…

201901.10
0

I&F Prevails as Arbitrator finds No Compensable Accident

I&F Attorney Michael Bantz obtained a successful result in recent litigation, where the Petitioner’s fall was found not to arise out of her employment.  The Petitioner testified at trial that she had fallen on the stairs that led into the correctional facility where she worked.  She further testified that she had been carrying bags in…

201812.24
0

Happy Holidays!

Inman & Fitzgibbons wishes our clients, friends, colleagues, and readers a very merry and happy Holiday Season!

201812.18
0

Inman & Fitzgibbons Prevails as Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission Reverses Arbitration Decision on Review

In a case that once again reminds us of the importance of a thorough medical investigation, a favorable decision was received by Associate Attorney Lauren L. Waninski following Respondent’s appeal of an Arbitrator’s decision in petitioner’s favor. After an Arbitrator found a medical causal connection between the Petitioner’s bilateral thumb injuries and his work as…

201812.17
0

Facts Matter: IL Appellate Court Shows Importance of Thorough & Timely Accident Investigation

The Appellate Court recently affirmed a Commission decision that the petitioner had failed to prove an accident in ZENO PIECHOWICZ, Appellant, v. ILLINOIS WORKERS’ COMPENSATION COMMISSION et al., (E.B. Commercial, Inc.; Am.Prop. Mgmt. Co. of Illinois, Inc.; & Brittany Place Condo. Ass’n, Appellees)., 2018 IL App (1st) 171084WC-U.  A close look at this decision highlights…

201812.13
0

Facts Matter: Another Illinois WC Stair Case

Accidents that involve stairs are a common occurrence for employers and we will continue to highlight interesting cases that can be used as a framework for disputing these types of accidents, where appropriate. For example, Williams v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, 2016 Ill. App. 4th 150126 (Ill. App. Ct. 2016), provides an excellent summary of…

201812.11
0

Credits for Loss of Use of the Arm in Illinois after Will County Forest Preserve

“Will County Forest Preserve.” The very mention of this case  – in which the Illinois Supreme Court held that the shoulder was  to be classified as loss of the person as a whole – is enough to get a reaction from just about any Illinois WC defense attorney given that it had a significant impact on the ability…