201706.02
0

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
0

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
0

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
0

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
0

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
0

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
0

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
0

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
0

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
0

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
0

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
0

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
0

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
0

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
0

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
0

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
0

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
0

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
0

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…

201703.06
0

New Appointments to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission

Governor Rauner has appointed Ms. Deborah Simpson and Ms. L. Elizabeth Coppoletti to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. Commissioner Simpson will be assuming the vacancy on Panel C but handling the case load formerly assigned to Commissioner White.  Commissioner Coppoletti will be assuming the vacancy on Panel B but handling the case load formerly assigned to Commissioner Basurto.

201702.27
0

Update on Illinois Workers’ Compensation Reform

At Inman & Fitzgibbons, our Legislative Watch Group continues to monitor pending legislation in Springfield and, when the opportunity arises, we provide input through the Illinois Chamber’s Workers’ Compensation Committee on language contained within proposed legislation and input on what issues should or need not be addressed in the current efforts to continue reform of…

201702.24
0

WCRI Study Shows High Worker’s Compensation Medical Costs in Wisconsin

According to a recent study from the Worker’s Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) comparing the price of providing worker’s compensation treatment in 31 large American states,  Wisconsin stands apart as far as the cost of treating injured workers. The study revealed that Wisconsin’s treatment prices were the highest of all the 31 states. To be sure,…

201702.17
0

Refused Drug Test Results In No Benefits

As we discussed back in October 2016, Section 11 of the Act provides, in part, that there is a “rebuttable presumption that an employee was intoxicated and that the intoxication was the proximate cause of the injury if at the time of the injury the employee refuses to submit to testing of blood, breath, or…

201702.10
0

Illinois General Assembly Revisiting Illinois Workers’ Compensation Reform . . . or Is It?

An update from Partner G. Steven Murdock and the I&F Legislative Watch Committee: As the battle of Rauner vs. Madigan continues in Springfield over pension reform and the state budget, one may think that workers’ compensation reform, one of the priorities on Rauner’s Turnaround Agenda, has been lost in the mix.  Well, one would be…