Case Results

312-425-3131

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

211 Landmark Drive, Suite C2, Normal, IL 61761

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BCM Prevents Petitioner's Second Bite of the Apple

Beverly N. Masuda successfully prevented petitioner from recovering from a recurrence of injury based on the same condition for which he obtained a settlement seven months prior.

Petitioner, a 34 year old assembler in a warehouse distribution center, initially claimed an injury to his left wrist in February, 2006. According to the Lump Sum Settlement Contract, after using a freight walker for 7 hours, he noticed a lump on the top of the left wrist. The pain was localized in the dorsal aspect of the proximal wrist where a painful "knot" was identified. Petitioner received injections to the left wrist, ultimately was released to return to work, full duty, and he settled his claim for 5% loss of use of the left hand. Settlement contracts were approved on June 2, 2006.

On September 22, 2006, petitioner claimed re-injury as a result of performing his usual work activities which included operation of a pallet jack via hand controls. Petitioner resumed treatment, and gave a history of recurrence of the same symptoms he had following the accident of February, 2006. The treating physician diagnosed a possible recurrence of a ganglion cyst which was confirmed by MRI studies. The cyst was surgically excised on November 22, 2006. Post‑operatively, petitioner was restricted to light duty, then released to full duties, effective January 23, 2007.

The respondent introduced treating records from both dates of accident, showing that symptoms as a result of both occurrences were similar, if not identical. The respondent also introduced expert opinion that ganglion cysts take weeks to months to develop and are not the result of a single isolated event. Additionally, respondent's expert opined that when ganglion cysts are removed from the dorsum of the wrist, the pathology is degenerative. The respondent's expert further indicated that there was no medical literature which supported the petitioner's claim that his job duties exposed him to any significant risk for the development of a ganglion cyst.

Conversely, the Arbitrator rejected the opinion of petitioner's expert who relied on the petitioner's history of a sudden "pop" with pain and swelling while operating the pallet jack. As pointed out by the respondent, this history of "pop" did not appear in any of the other medical records, treating or otherwise. The Arbitrator concluded that petitioner's claimed "injury" of September 22, 2006 was, in fact, a further development or sequelae of the injury of February, 2006 which claim was settled via settlement contracts approved by the Commission on June 2, 2006.

The Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission affirmed the Arbitrator's Decision in its entirety on December 8, 2008.  Petitioner did not file a writ to the Circuit Court.

  • 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
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