201503.20
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Arbitrator Rejects Petitioner’s Claim of Permanent & Total Disability

We are pleased to announce the receipt of a favorable arbitration decision finding that the petitioner failed to prove he was permanently and totally disabled.  The petitioner, a pipefitter, injured his right knee and underwent surgery but continued to have problems.  He had a second surgery without much improvement.  He was eventually released to return…

201503.18
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Tire Technician’s Claim Falls Flat

Veteran attorney Scott McCain recently prevailed  in defense of a repetitive trauma claim filed by a tire technician.  In this case, the claimant alleged that removing and installing tires with an air gun, in conjunction with the use of a torque wrench to tighten nuts, resulted left carpal tunnel syndrome, lumbar radiculopathy, cervical radiculopathy, and…

201503.05
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I&F and the Illinois Chamber of Commenrce add Effingham date for Traveling Employee Seminar

We recently announced our upcoming March 25 seminar at the Illinois Chamber of Commerce covering issues related to traveling employees.  For our downstate readers who cannot make it to this event in West Chicago, we are happy to announce that we will also be presenting this seminar with the Chamber on April 28, 2014 in Effingham. Like…

201502.25
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Governor Rauner Announces IWCC Appointments

On Friday, Governor Rauner announced that Arbitrator Joann Fratianni-Atsaves has been named Chair of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. He also announced several Commissioner appointments: Management Commissioner Kevin Lamborn, Labor Commissioner David Gore have been reappointed. Replacing public member Dan Donohoo will be arbitrator Joshua Luskin. Labor Commissioner Charles DeVriendt remains serving although his term…

201502.24
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I&F to Present Traveling Employee Seminar at IL Chamber of Commerce

When is a slip and fall compensable? When is an employee a “traveling employee,” and what does the law allow as a compensable accident for those employees? This two-part seminar hosted by partner Kevin Deuschle and veteran attorney Scott McCain will present attendees with the general rules applicable to defining a compensable slip and fall claim as well as…

201502.16
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I&F Prevails in Appellate Court

Partner Kevin Deuschle recently argued and prevailed before the Appellate Court of Illinois, Fifth District.  You can find the Court’s decision here and audio of the argument before the Court can be found here. In this case, the petitioner was employed with the Respondent in the capacity of a Sales Account Executive.  She was making a sales…

201502.13
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I&F Alerts Employers to New Issues Raised by Medical Marijuana Act

On February 10, 2015, Partner Steve Murdock and Attorney Michael Bantz hosted a seminar with the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce regarding the new Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act.  The seminar raised awareness of how the Act may affect employers, both generally and specifically in terms of Workers’ Compensation claims.  The seminar…

201502.10
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Inman & Fitzgibbons announces Mark Carter as Partner

Inman & Fitzgibbons is pleased to announce that Mark Carter has become a partner with the firm. He has served as associate attorney with our firm in the Chicago office since 2005 and has contributed to the success of our firm since that time by always making client service his first priority. We congratulate him on…

201502.06
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Gov. Bruce Rauner gives his first State of the State

Gov. Bruce Rauner gave his first State of the State address Wednesday, setting the tone for the legislative session.  With a focus on fiscal responsibility, Gov. Rauner used his speech to talk about empowerment (right-to-work) zones, tax reform, pro-business initiatives like workers’ compensation reform and civil justice reform, a minimum wage hike, and tax code improvements….

201501.26
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Rauner speaks on workers’ compensation reform

As reported by Doug Finke of the Springfield State Journal-Register, in a speech at the University of Chicago last week, Gov. Bruce Rauner provided what he said was a preview of his upcoming State of the State speech. Rauner ticked off a list of issues the state must address, including workers’ compensation reform. “This is about competitiveness,” Rauner…

201501.21
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Firm family grows!

Inman & Fitzgibbons is happy to share the arrival of baby boy Graham, born on November 28, 2014 to attorney Mark Carter and wife, Lauren. Graham joins big brother Henry at home. Baby and family are happy and healthy!

201501.14
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Stealing From Employer Still Not a Bar to TTD in Illinois

As we previously covered in greater detail here, Mr. Matuszczak, the petitioner, was fired for the repeated theft of cigarettes.  He testified that he knew that stealing was a crime and could lead to him being fired.  The petitioner had previously been prescribed light-duty restrictions that were being accommodated by his employer and he also…

201412.03
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I&F Prevails in Repetitive Trauma Claim

In a case recently tried by Partner Colin Mills, the Arbitrator found that Petitioner failed to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that she sustained accidental injuries to her bilateral hands due to repetitive work activities that arose out of and in the course of her employment with Respondent. As such, Petitioner’s claim for…

201412.01
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Governor Quinn appoints Ron Rascia Acting Chairman of the IWCC

Former IWCC Chairman Michael Latz resigned on November 30th and Governor Quinn has appointed Ronald A. Rascia as Acting Chairman, effective today. Chairman Rascia first joined the Commission in 2011 as General Counsel, and later added the duties of the Secretary of the Commission. Assistant Secretary Brendan O’Rourke will serve as Acting Secretary. Chairman Rascia…

201411.24
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I&F Successfully Defends Alleged Claim of Permanent & Total Disability

Attorney Lauren Waninski of Inman & Fitzgibbons successfully defended a claim where the claimant alleged he was entitled to a permanent total disability award. The claimant alleged that he was permanently and totally disabled after a hit-and-run accident at work and two lumbar spine fusion surgeries. At trial, I&F introduced evidence refuting the claimant’s alleged accident…

201411.17
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OSHA Reporting & Record-Keeping: What Will Be Required in 2015?

The United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) recently announced a new rule, effective January 1, 2015, that will require employers to notify OSHA when an employee is killed on the job, requires hospitalization from a work-related injury, suffers an amputation, or loses an eye. Additionally, this new rule updates the…

201411.14
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Illinois Arbitration territory changes in 2015

News from the IWCC on the changing venues: Zone 4, which now consists of New Lenox and Ottawa, will add Kankakee as a new site. Zone 6, which now consists of Geneva, Wheaton, will add Elgin as another new hearing site. To view the new accident location table, go to http://www.iwcc.il.gov/location.xls All Chicago cases that were…

201411.12
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CMS Database Brings Transparency to Payments made to Doctors

As our employer and insurance industry clients are well-aware, skyrocketing medical costs have greatly contributed to rising exposure and expense in workers’ compensation claims.  Often, respondents in workers’ compensation claims are in the dark as to the doctors’ motivation for prescribing a given course of care.   Although opinions certainly differ as to the 2010 Affordable…

201411.05
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Quinn Announces that Workers’ Compensation Loss Costs Drop Nearly 20%

According to Gov. Quinn and the IWCC, “Indications are coming in to show the 2011 changes to the Workers’ Compensation Act are delivering significant savings to Illinois businesses.”  The National Council on Compensation Insurance reported a 19.3% drop in loss costs since 2011.  To read the press release, go to http://www.iwcc.il.gov/PR090414.pdf In addition, a 2014…

201411.04
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IWCC Denies Correctional Officer’s Repetitive Trauma Claim

The Commission recently affirmed an Arbitration decision in Dryden v. Centralia Correctional Center, in determining that the Petitioner failed to prove that his work duties as a correctional officer caused his bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome. In a 2-1 decision, the Commission affirmed the Arbitrator’s findings that the Petitioner’s job duties were not varied or sufficiently…

201410.10
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IWCC Announces New Arbitrator Assignments

Effective November 1, Arbitrator Stephen Friedman will take over the Chicago call formerly handled by Arbitrator Kelmanson, and Arbitrator Michael Nowak will take over the Collinsville/Belleville call formerly handled by Arbitrator Zanotti. The IWCC is creating new Chicago calls for Arbitrators Bocanegra and Fruth that will take effect January 1, 2015. Because cases are continued for…