201008.10
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New Fee Schedule Changes

According to the IWCC, “emergency” Fee Schedule rules have been filed with the Illinois Secretary of State which have changed the implant reimbursement method and added accredited ambulatory surgical facilities to the ASTC schedule. Medical treatment on or after July 6, 2010 should be paid according to the following new rules: 1. Reimbursement for a…

201008.06
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IWCC 2009 Annual Report is Online

The FY09 annual report is now available online here. Highlights, according to recently appointed Chairman Weisz, include: In FY09, the Commission collected $1.2 million in fines from 105 uninsured employers with 1,300 workers that were found to be operating without workers’ compensation insurance. These fines were used to pay $1.4 million in benefits to 38…

201007.29
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IWCC NEWS: New Arbitrator Assignments. Lawrenceville to close.

From the Commission website comes news of substantial change to the IWCC dockets: Chairman Mitch Weisz announced the following changes in arbitrator assignments, effective September 1st, 2010: Arbitrator Erbacci will be assigned to take over the entire Waukegan call. This is a first step in trying to reduce the number of split calls. Arbitrator Andros…

201005.26
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Surcharge Fee Refund Deadline is June 1, 2010

As we previously reported, The Illinois Chamber of Commerce filed suit on the basis that the 1.5% surcharge on workers’ compensation insurance premiums and a similar “payroll tax” on self-insured employersconstituted an unauthorized tax on Illinois employers and insurers. The suit sought to reduce the level of the fees assessed against employers and insurance carriers…

201005.26
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I&F Welcomes Lauren Zimmer

Inman and Fitzgibbons welcomes new associate Lauren Zimmer to the firm.  Lauren grew up in the northwest suburbs of Chicago and attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, majoring in Political Science.  While at the University of Illinois, Lauren was a resident advisor, youth soccer coach, member of a sorority and participated in the university’s intramural sports…

201005.17
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Commissioner Daniel Donohoo appointed

Governor Pat Quinn has appointed Daniel Donohoo as commissioner.  Commissioner Donohoo holds a B.S. degree in Business Administration from Southern Illinois University, and a J.D. degree from Cooley Law School. He served as the Madison County Recorder of Deeds for 21 years, and operated his own accounting firm for 17 years. 

201005.16
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Chairman Weisz confirmed

On May 7, 2010, the Senate confirmed Mitch Weisz as chairman. Governor Quinn had appointed Chairman Weisz on March 22, 2010. Chairman Weisz holds a B.A. degree in History from Northwestern University and a law degree from IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. He worked as an attorney concentrating in workers’ compensation for 25 years, and…

201004.21
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I&F Scores a Victory in Repetitive Trauma Claim

Illinois employers are well-aware of the difficulties and expense posed by repetitive trauma claims.  Inman and Fitzgibbons is  happy to report that we recently prevailed at trial on just such a claim.   In this case, the petitioner, a counselor at a correctional facility, was claiming a right-sided carpal tunnel claim which required a surgical release. …

201004.10
0

A Message from the New Acting Chairman

A message from Chairman Weisz from the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission’s website: “I would like to take this opportunity to express how honored and privileged I am to join the dedicated staff of the IWCC. Together we will evaluate ideas generated from both within the Commission and outside sources to progressively improve our implementation of…

201003.30
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Commission Appoints New Acting Chairman

The Commission has announced the appointment by Governor Quinn of a new Chairman, Mitch Weisz. Mr. Weisz is affiliated with the petitioner/plaintiff bar and works out of Crystal Lake, IL. He replaces Amy Masters, who will return to her former position at the Commission of Secretary/Operations Manager. Weisz’s nomination will be submitted to the State…

201003.04
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Appellate Court rules teacher’s AWW is calculated from 39-week school year in Washington District 50 Schools v. IWCC

In Washington District 50 Schools v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, (No. 3-08-0923WC Oct. 16, 2009), the Court affirmed a Workers’ Compensation Commission finding that ruled a school teacher that was paid an annual salary of $40,416.48 will have an average weekly wage of $1,036.32, based on the number of weeks (39) that she actually worked…

201002.18
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TTD and Employment Status: One View of the Post- Interstate Scaffolding Landscape

The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission recently affirmed an arbitrator’s denial of TTD benefits to a petitioner who was on light duty work restrictions during an economic layoff.  In Gonzalez v. ITT Industries, 2009 WL 5067488 (Ill. W.C. Comm. 2009), the petitioner injured his back after lifting a 200 pound box and his chiropractor placed him…

201002.11
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Circuit Court sets aside Permanent Total award and remands case back to Commission

In remanding the permanent and total disability award rendered by the Arbitrator and affirmed by the Commission the Circuit Court ruled that there was “a substantial sparsity of objective evidence . . . most, if not all of the physicians’ findings are based on petitioner’s subjective statements.” In this case, the petitioner, a 41-year old…

201001.26
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Supreme Court Orders Employers to Pay TTD to Terminated Employees in Interstate Scaffolding v. IWCC

Illinois employers now have to think twice about terminating an employee for any reason while the employee is working in a light duty fashion, unless it wants to continue to pay the employee temporary total disability benefits. On January 22, 2010, the Illinois Supreme Court issued its decision as to whether an employer’s obligation to…

201001.16
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2010 Illinois WC Medical Fees Down 1.48%

News on 2010 medical rates from the IWCC website: Section 8.2(a) of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act provides that, each year, fee schedule rates shall increase or decrease by the percentage change in the Consumer Price Index-U in the previous year. Because the CPI-U decreased 1.48% between August 2008 and August 2009, ALL rates decreased…

201001.15
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Sixth Circuit Considers RICO Liability in WC Claims in Brown v. Cassens Transport Co.

We thought we would start off the New Year with a case that has important implications for those of us involved in worker’s compensation claims administration. The United States Supreme Court recently declined to review a decision from the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals holding that an employer who allegedly colluded with its doctors and…

200912.24
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Happy Holidays

Inman and Fitzgibbons wishes you and your families a happy and healthy Holiday Season and New Year.

200912.22
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Workers’ Compensation Fraud Unit Issues Annual Report

In 2008, the Illinois Department of Insurance investigated 41 reports of possible workers’ compensation fraud, and referred 35 cases for prosecution.  Working on referrals from prior years, the Illinois Attorney General and county State’s Attorneys obtained seven convictions.  Click here to read the report. Thanks to the IWCC for making this information available.

200912.04
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Our Email Addresses Have Changed

Please note the change to our email addresses.  Effective immediately, all firm email address will end in  “@inmanfitzgibbons.com”.   Email to the old addresses will still be delivered for the time being, but please be sure to update your address books.