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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Arbitrator finds no accident as fractures pre-dated the accident date

Julia McCarthy tried James Norton v. Peoria Midwest, No. 04 WC 28720 and 05 WC 33293, before Arbitrator Neal in Peoria. Ms. McCarthy was successful in securing a no accident decision with denial of all benefits and right to recover TTD and medical benefits previously paid.

Petitioner initially alleged injury on December 27, 1999 involving his left foot and subsequently filed an amended application claiming injury of November 30, 2000. Petitioner was diagnosed with multiple fractures of the foot and Charcot foot, eventually resulting in surgery. Petitioner claimed TTD from December 8, 2000 through February 27, 2001 and October 12, 2001 through May 29, 2004. Further, petitioner claimed medical for approximately $117,000.00.

It was our position petitioner did not sustain a work-related injury and his foot condition was the result of activities of daily living affecting a Charcot foot. Petitioner is a diabetic.

The medical reflected petitioner initially sought treatment in December of 1999. There was no history of a work injury. He complained of his feet being sore after being on his feet all day. He did reference chopping wood, which was done at home. Petitioner was seen in follow-up January of 2000, at which time his complaints regarding his feet decreased.

Vocational rehabilitation: failure to cooperate dispute found in favor of the respondent

Hayden v. Industrial Commission, et al.
214 Ill.App.3d 749, 574 N.E.2d 99 (1991)

John P. Connolly of Brady, Connolly & Masuda, P.C. successfully defended the respondent in Hayden whereby the petitioner, a 41 year old structural iron worker, sustained injury to his low back and left arm. Petitioner participated in a work hardening program and was released to return to work, however, was unable to work at unprotected heights. Petitioner's examining physician maintained that petitioner should not engage in repetitive bending, weight lifting or prolonged walking, standing, sitting or standing.

Petitioner was referred to a vocational rehabilitation counselor for job development and placement services. Interviews were scheduled by the vocational counselor, however, petitioner admitted that he was not interested in a clerical position or working indoors. Petitioner testified that he was considering returning to school on a full time basis in order to obtain his degree. The vocational counselor recommended that further rehabilitation efforts be withheld until petitioner made a commitment to pursue employment for which he was qualified.

Respondent terminated petitioner's temporary total disability benefits as a result of the employee's failure to cooperate with placement efforts. At trial, the Arbitrator determined that petitioner had unreasonably substituted his judgment for that of the physician in advising the union personnel that he would be returning to structural iron work within 3 - 6 months.

John P. Connolly successfully defended an elevator manufacturer in a case involving an elevator repairman who underwent an arthroscopic repair of the anterior labrum and debridement of the posterior tears of the shoulder.

The petitioner underwent physical therapy, returned to work with restrictions, and eventually was released to full duty.

Prior to trial, the petitioner demanded 45% loss of use of the arm, or $60,052.25.  This matter proceeded to trial regarding the nature and extent of the petitioner's alleged condition of ill-being.  Although the petitioner testified that he continued to have difficulty in performing his day-to-day responsibilities and needed assistance to perform his job.  Respondent successfully rebutted the petitioner's allegations with medical evidence as well as the testimony of a co-worker.  Petitioner's co-worker testified that he did not observe anything unusual or that the petitioner had any limitations in performing his job duties.

 Respondent recommended that the Arbitrator award 22.5% loss of use of the arm.  The Arbitrator, in essence, adopted the respondent's position awarding the petitioner 25% loss of use of the arm, or $33,362.36.  This resulted in a savings to the respondent/employer in the amount of $26,689.89.

Successful prosecution of fraudulent workers' compensation claim

Roadside Auto Body, Inc. v. Scott Miller
285 Ill.App.3d 105, 220 Ill.Dec 724

John P. Connolly of Brady, Connolly & Masuda, P.C. successfully prosecutes workers' compensation fraud case.

Facts:

The petitioner reported an unwitnessed accident to his employer 25 days after the alleged incident. A Form 45 was completed and a report was made to the insurance company. The insurer secured a recorded statement from employee and confirmed the accident as reported to the employer. The claim was accepted as compensable and temporary total disability and medical benefits were paid.

  • Rumors that while petitioner receiving temporary total disability benefits, that alleged low back problem occurred as a result of military accident;
  • Investigation into military history confirmed prior back surgery recommendations;
  • No prior Industrial Commission claims;
  • Insurer accepted claim as an aggravation of a pre-existing condition;
  • Petitioner secured an attorney;
  • Petitioner underwent lumbar laminectomy and fusion;
  • Petitioner returned to work six months after lumbar laminectomy;
  • Petitioner wants to settle workers' compensation action;
  • Offer of 30% loss of use of man ($50,000.00) as a whole is accepted;
  • Petitioner advised co-worker/best friend of $50,000.00 settlement;
  • Co-worker went to employer and suggested that petitioner had filed a fraudulent claim;
  • Employer notified insurer;
  • By the time the insurer secured a recorded statement from co-worker, the Lump Sum Settlement Contract was approved by the Illinois Industrial Commission;
  • Co-worker advised insurer that claimant hurt back in the military, had a longstanding back problem and intended to defraud employer;
  • Additional investigation confirmed unwillingness to undergo surgery while in the military;
  • Insurer refuses payment of Lump Sum Settlement Contract; and
  • Petitioner's attorney successfully secured Order from the Industrial Commission for penalties and attorney's fees in the amount of $28,000.00 for non-payment of Lump Sum Settlement Contract.

John P. Connolly successfully defended the employer in a claim involving an altercation between a teacher and students. The Arbitrator rejected the petitioner's claim for hearing loss, additional lost time, and future medical benefits.

Petitioner, a teacher for the respondent, was involved in an altercation which resulted in her slipping and falling.  There existed ongoing disputes regarding whether the petitioner suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and whether the petitioner had sustained hearing loss due to the altercation and fall.  After securing the evidence depositions of the treating and examining physicians, the matter proceeded to trial. 

At trial, the petitioner sought workers' compensation benefits totaling $69,685.30 representing 10 weeks of temporary total disability benefits, outstanding medical benefits, and 20% loss of use of the person as a whole.

The respondent was successful in rejecting the petitioner's request for additional medical and temporary total disability benefits and the Arbitrator awarded permanent partial disability benefits in the amount of 3% loss of use of the person as a whole, or $8,518.05.

  • 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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