201903.15
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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…

201901.20
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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…

201801.16
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Wisconsin WC Advisory Council Recommends Medical Fee Schedule

The Wisconsin Worker’s Compensation Advisory Council, created to advise the DWD and the legislature on policy matters concerning worker’s compensation law, is recommending legislators create a medical fee schedule to reduce workers’ compensation medical costs, according to a news release from mid to late 2017. Worker’s compensation medical costs are rising quickly in Wisconsin. According…

201712.27
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Indiana Court of Appeals Broadens the Definition of Earnings in Calculating the AWW

It is well settled in Indiana that worker’s compensation is meant to benefit employees and that the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Act should be construed liberally.  According to a recent opinion issued by the Indiana Court of Appeals, in Midwest Equipment & Supply, Co. v. Garwood, this liberal construction appears to be especially true as it relates…

201712.21
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Efforts to Increase Illinois Medical Fee Schedule Thwarted by the IWCC

Earlier this year, the Medical Fee Advisory Board to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission passed a Motion (5-3) recommending that the IWCC increase certain medical CPT coded fees by 30%.  Section 8.2 of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act grants the IWCC authority to make changes in the Fee Schedule when there exists “a significant limitation…

201712.20
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Missouri Alert: Another Reason to Make Sure Your New Employee is Not Undocumented

The Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation has recently issued a decision involving an illegal immigrant.  In this case, the 34-year old claimant with an 8th grade education fell off a ladder sustaining injuries to his legs, feet, ankles and back.  He was diagnosed with compression fractures requiring the daily use of narcotics to control this pain….

201712.07
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I&F Presents to Illinois Chamber of Commerce

I&F regularly presents to clients, insurers, TPAs and businesses on matters of interest including worker’s compensation law and related issues. Here I&F attorneys Lauren Waninski and Kristin Thomas share their experiences handling WC cases in Illinois with the Illinois Chamber of Commerce. If this presentation or any other topic in WC interests you, please contact us to discuss how…

201712.06
1

Illinois Average Weekly Wage: You Don’t Owe What You Don’t Know

The Illinois Appellate Court recently affirmed a Commission Decision in favor of respondent on the issue of whether a claimant’s concurrent wages as a pastor should be included as part of his average weekly wage calculations, in Bagwell v. Illinois Workers’ Comp. Comm’n (Nestle USA, Inc. ), 2017 IL App (4th) 160407WC, 84 N.E.3d 1149, 1151….

201711.28
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Michigan Board of Magistrates Dismisses Claim Based on Res Judicata

How many Applications can a claimant file in Michigan before he faces fines? In Michigan, an injured worker seeks benefits by filing an Application for Mediation or Hearing. This is known as Form WC-104A. In Sheikh v. Pratt & Whitney AutoAir, Inc., the claimant filed his fifteenth application for mediation or hearing following a decision…

201711.20
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I&F Prevails as IL WC Arbitrator Finds that Routine Job Duties are Not Necessarily “Repetitive”

In a recent case before an arbitrator at the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, Partner Steve Murdock prevailed in defense of an alleged claim for repetitive trauma, both on issues of accident and medical causal connection.  Claimant alleged that as a machine operator for more than two decades on a packaging line she frequently used her…

201711.17
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Wisconsin Court of Appeals hold Expert Medical Opinion from Unlicensed Doctor Admissible at Trial

Under Wisconsin law, a WKC-16-B certified practitioner’s report is admissible at trial as evidence of the diagnosis, necessity of the treatment, and cause and extent of the disability so long as the practitioner consents to and is available for cross examination . On November 8, 2017, the Court of Appeals (First District)  held that a…

201711.15
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Illinois Appellate Court Revisits the issues of Traveling Employees and Increased Risk

A recent Illinois appellate decision, Kenaga v. Village of Hoffman Estates, 2017 IL App (1st) 161859WC-U, is interesting as it not only touches on a hot-button topic in the Workers’ Compensation field, but also for the analysis of the various courts involved. The claimant was a police officer for 24 years. As part of his duties,…

201711.09
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I&F Presents at 10th Annual Illinois Chamber of Commerce Workers’ Compensation and Safety Conference

Inman & Fitzgibbons attorneys Terry Donohue and Allison Mecher recently presented on the topic of Lost Time Benefits at the 10th Annual Illinois Chamber of Commerce Workers’ Compensation and Safety Conference. In this presentation, they discussed the basics of temporary total and temporary partial disability benefits, the current case law governing TTD/TPD, and common situations that arise involving payment of…

201708.21
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I&F Announces Opening of Michigan Office

I&F is extremely happy to announce that we have extended our services to the state of Michigan with the opening of a new office in Lansing. Our new office is located at 120 North Washington, Suite 300, in Lansing and can be reached at 517-234-4700. Attorneys Jynnifer Bates and Lauren Waninski will serve the firm’s clients from the Michigan…

201708.21
0

Rauner Vetoes Bill to Create Illinois State Chartered NFP WC Insurance Company

On Friday August 18, 2017,  Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed HB 2622, which created a state-chartered, not-for -profit workers’ compensation insurance company. Rauner said, “Today I veto House Bill 2622 from the 100th General Assembly, which will create a state-sponsored workers’ compensation insurance company. This bill will also require the Department of Insurance to provide a loan…

201708.17
1

I&F Prevails where Illinois Appellate Court Upholds Finding that Firefighter’s Need for New Knee Not Related to Work Accident

Our office is pleased to report the receipt of a favorable Decision from the Illinois Appellate Court, First District.  In this case, the petitioner, a firefighter/paramedic, sustained a compensable work related accident injuring his right knee and underwent surgery.  Following surgery, therapy, and an FCE, his treating doctor found him at MMI. Four months later,…

201708.11
0

Village’s Denial of PSEBA Benefits Upheld by Illinois Appellate Court

In Wilczak v. The Village of Lombard, 2016 IL App (2d) 160205 (December 5, 2016), the Second District Appellate Court affirmed a Village’s denial of benefits under the Illinois Public Employee Benefits Act (“PSEBA”) (820 ILCS 320/1, et seq.). Under PSEBA, Illinois municipalities and fire protection districts must provide lifetime health insurance benefits to public…