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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 secures reversal: Commission reverses Arbitrator's 19(b)/8(a) Decision, which awarded petitioner $286,261.35 in benefits

Peter J. Stavropoulos succeeded in securing a reversal of the Arbitrator's decision on a 19(b)/8(a) hearing that awarded the petitioner 66-4/7 weeks of temporary total disability ($30,116.72) and medical expenses in the sum of $256,144.63. David Fenwick v. Area Wide Septic Services, No. 07 IWCC 0769.

The case was tried before the Arbitrator in Ottawa on February 16, 2005. Petitioner testified that on June 18, 2003, he was digging a hole and cutting concrete. He slipped and fell into the hole and injured his back. Petitioner was taken by ambulance to St. Margaret's Hospital.

An MRI was taken which revealed a small right lateral L5-S1 annular tear. His own physician, Dr. Lukancic, saw the petitioner on June 28, 2003 and diagnosed petitioner with an acute lumbosacral strain. Ultimately, petitioner fell into the hands of Dr. DePhillips.

BCM proves mother not entitled to son's death benefits

Julia McCarthy tried Aaron Pettet (Deceased) v. Shadow Manufacturing on behalf of the respondent.  This case involved a death claim. The decedent died as the result of exposure while cleaning a well on May 19, 2006. The accident itself was not disputed.

At the time of his death, the decedent was single with no children. A claim was filed alleging dependency by his mother.

Decedent's mother claimed partial dependency pursuant to Section 7(c) of the Act. The mother testified at the time of trial her deceased son gave her $40.00 - $100.00 per week for medication. She is diabetic. She testified she received cash from her son.

The insured testified regarding her knowledge as to a lack of relationship between the decedent and his mother.

Arbitrator adopts IME doctor over treater

Mark Vizza prevailed in the case of Jerry Pratt v. Vactor Manufacturing. The Arbitrator found that the petitioner's present condition of ill-being is not causally-related to any accident arising out of the course of the petitioner's employment with the Respondent.

Arbitrator Granada in his Decision noted that he was persuaded by the opinions of Dr. Breslow, respondent's Section 12 doctor, when compared to those of Dr. Chudik, the treating physician. Dr. Chudik had originally diagnosed a tear of the lateral cartilage of the meniscus current and an old bucket handle tear of the medial meniscus. He then performed orthopedic surgery and found that diagnosis was incorrect. He then performed a right chondroplasty with abrasionplasty. At no time prior to the operation did Dr. Chudik ever diagnose the petitioner with chondromalacia. The Arbitrator found that it was apparent that the petitioner suffered a contusion and had increased pain in his right knee. The Arbitrator found there is no indication that the chondromalacia found by Dr. Chudik was caused or aggravated by the accident. The petitioner was then seen by Dr. Rhode who stated he was unclear as to the condition the petitioner was suffering from at the time of the accident.

The petitioner in his Proposed Decision requested that the Arbitrator award the petitioner 12-2/7 weeks temporary total disability benefits, $18,374.50 in medical, and a hold harmless for the medical paid by the group carrier in the amount of $2,379.50. The petitioner then also requested that the Arbitrator find that the petitioner had suffered the loss of use of the right leg to the extent of 22.5% loss of use. The 22.5% loss of use of the leg had a dollar figure of $24,959.57. Arbitrator Granada did not award any temporary total disability benefits, awarded approximately $835.00 in medical expenses and 5% loss of use of the leg. The Decision resulted in a net savings to the client of approximately $45,000.00.

Petitioner's failure to follow employer's reporting protocol helps prove accident did not occur

Noah Hamann recently obtained a favorable verdict from the Illinois Appellate Court in Mark Karnes v. Wright Tree Service, 03-13-0140WC. All issues were in dispute on an appeal by the petitioner following victories by the defense at Arbitration, the Commission and the Peoria County Circuit Court. During the appeal process petitioner's attorney was unwilling to settle for anything other than full trial value and continued medical treatment involving a left shoulder acromioplasty. Petitioner's last settlement demand was $100,000.00.

The case involved two alleged dated of accidents, 10/18/06 affecting the left shoulder and 4/7/07 affecting the right elbow and left shoulder. In the 2006 incident, petitioner claimed he was holding a chainsaw in his right hand while cutting branches that he was holding in his left hand. The petitioner claimed that when he sawed the branch, it dropped and the petitioner felt a pop in his left shoulder. With regard to the 2007 incident, the petitioner denied any acute injury but complained of general soreness to his right elbow and left shoulder as a result of his work duties. The petitioner attempted to argue that the 2007 condition was a continuation of the 2006 condition.

At arbitration, the alleged accident of 2006 was disputed in entirety. Through witness testimony, it was shown that the company had clear procedures in place for reporting injuries. The petitioner knew these procedures as he reported an injury following the alleged 2007 accident. In 2007 an accident report was filed, a workers' compensation claim was submitted to the insurance carrier and the petitioner was given medical treatment. Petitioner's supervisor testified petitioner did not report an injury in 2006.

BCM's Peter Stavropoulos Secures Zero Award, Proving Union Painter's Neck Condition is Not Related to Work Activities

Peter J. Stavropoulos prevailed on a repetitive trauma claim brought by a union painter and secured a “zero” award from the Arbitrator on October 29, 2012, which was affirmed by the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission on December 19, 2013. The petitioner claimed a neck injury as a result of painting a ceiling on an industrial painting job over the course of 5 months. Petitioner was seeking $83,097.50 in temporary total disability benefits accrued at the time of trial and continuing beyond that at a rate of $966.25 per week ($109,186.25 in additional temporary total disability at the time of the Commission Decision), $35,165.28 for incurred medical expenses and future medical including a 2-level cervical fusion.

The Arbitrator held that the petitioner did not suffer an accident. Petitioner claimed that his job duties required him to look up while painting a ceiling for 8 hours per day every day. The Arbitrator found the petitioner not to be credible and, instead, sided with the employer's witness, finding that the petitioner's job duties were credibly described by the insured and “did not result in a repetitive trauma to the petitioner.” The insured's witness testified about the variety of job duties performed by the painters on the project, the amount of down time, the time spent setting up and breaking down as well as the fact that the project required painting more than just ceilings.

  • 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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