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312-425-3131

10 South LaSalle Street, Suite 900, Chicago, IL 60603

211 Landmark Drive, Suite C2, Normal, IL 61761

211 North Broadway, Suite 2200, St. Louis, MO 63102

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BCM prevails: Truck driver is not entitled to a wage differential

Peter J. Stavropoulos prevailed on this case at trial and before the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission. Richard Showen vs. Schwerman Trucking Co., No. 07 IWCC 0825 (Commission decision filed on June 28, 2007).

The petitioner suffered a back injury on July 30, 2002, when his truck hit a pothole entering the customer's lot. Petitioner testified that he hit his head on the ceiling of the truck and then landed back in his seat, resulting in a low back injury. Petitioner was off work from February 4, 2002, through February 17, 2002, at which time his treating physician released him to return to work full duty. Petitioner did work full duty until October of 2002, when there was a company wide layoff due to the seasonal nature of the job.

Fourteen months after his last visit, petitioner returned to the doctor on April 3, 2003. In that month, petitioner worked only 3 days due to his complaints of pain. Also in April of 2003, the facility out of which the petitioner was dispatched was permanently closed.

At trial, the petitioner claimed that he could no longer work as a truck driver and was seeking a wage differential benefit.

The Arbitrator found that multiple factors contributed to his decision that petitioner's condition at the time of trial was not related to his work accident. These factors included a 14 month gap in treatment, the testimony of the doctors that petitioner suffered a back strain, the chart entries of Dr. Szymke, and the petitioner's ability to perform all of his job duties after the date of accident for 8 months without complaint.

Petitioner was awarded 5% loss of use of a man as a whole, 2 weeks of temporary total disability benefits, and $2,014.00 in medical bills. (These had already been paid by the respondent).

Respondent was awarded a credit in the amount of $2,569.59 for medical bills paid that were found by the Arbitrator to not be related to the accident.

Consequently, the total benefits owed to the petitioner is $7,808.14. The present cash value of his wage differential at a 6% rate of return was $191,334.14.

The Commission affirmed and adopted the decision of the Arbitrator in full on June 28, 2007.

  • Chicago Bar Association
  • Workers' Compensation Lawyers Association
  • IRTB
  • DRI - The Voice of the Defense Bar
  • The Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel
  • Illinois Self-Insurers' Association
  • Chicago Bar Association
  • Workers' Compensation Lawyers Association
  • IRTB
  • DRI - The Voice of the Defense Bar
  • The Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel
  • Illinois Self-Insurers' Association
10 South LaSalle Street, Suite 900
Chicago, IL 60603
Phone: 312-425-3131
211 Landmark Drive, Suite C2
Normal, IL 61761
Phone: 309-862-4914
One Metropolitan Square
211 North Broadway, Suite 2200
St. Louis, MO 63102
Phone: 314-300-0527
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