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…

201812.05
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Illinois Expands the Use of Medical Marijuana

Major changes are underway in Illinois when it comes to the use of medical marijuana. On August 28, 2018, Gov. Bruce Rauner signed Senate Bill 336, a measure that significantly expands Illinois’ medical marijuana program by enabling patients to access medical marijuana in place of pharmaceutical opioid medications. The new law, known as the Alternative to Opioids Act,…

201812.03
0

*Important Changes to IL WC Act

Earlier this year, both the Illinois House and Senate passed SB 904, a bill that made changes related to the payment of medical services under the Workers’ Compensation Act. The major change was related to the charging of interest for unpaid medical bills by allowing medical providers to go to Circuit Court to obtain relief…

201808.31
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Battling the Opioid Epidemic in Wisconsin

Anyone involved in the WC industry knows that the opioid epidemic is especially problematic in handling claims. Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel is tackling the opioid issue in his state head on with his Dose of Reality Campaign.  According to an article from Mr. Schimel posted on dailyreporter.com on August 17, 2018,  there are more…

201808.13
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Iowa Supreme Court Denies Healing Period Benefits and Holds Employer can Regain Control of Employee’s Medical Care.

In an issue of first impression,  the Iowa Supreme Court  agreed with  the Commissioner   and District Court that an employer who had initially denied  liability for a claim, but then  subsequently  agreed to accept   the claim, was  able to regain  control over directing medical care, and consequently that   healing period benefits claimed from unauthorized care…

201806.28
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Will workers’ compensation MSA guidelines extend to personal injury cases?

As we previously reported, a CMS policy for liability Medicare set-aside (LMSA) review appears to be imminent.  The current state of confusion is depicted in a recent case involving CMS. In Silva v. Burwell, the plaintiff was injured as a result of a medical malpractice incident, after which he sustained permanent and extensive brain damage…

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
0

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
0

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
0

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
0

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
0

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…

201708.01
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Smoking breaks, pigeons lead to the eventual death of a County Investigator and a cloudy workers’ compensation claim in Missouri

Terry Lankford brought a workers’ compensation claim in Missouri for the development of pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease due to developing a breathing fungus and bacteria associated with pigeon droppings. Lankford, a heavy smoker, worked as an investigator for the county. He stated that when he started working for the county that he would…

201707.25
0

Use of Opioids in Wisconsin WC is Low and Aims to go Lower

As everyone involved in the administration of workers’ compensation claims knows, pain medication, particularly opioids, are notorious medical cost-drivers.  This is especially true when calculation potential liability or exposure for taking the interest of Medicare into account.  Wisconsin, however, seems to be making progress with respect to curbing the tide of opioid abuse. According to…