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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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Building Engineer zeroed by Arbitrator Erbacci

William Brewster tried the case of Jordan v. Hamilton Partners and Hines Interest before Arbitrator Erbacci in Waukegan.  Petitioner, a 44 year old building engineer was hired by Hamilton Partners on December 2, 2003 and was terminated four and a half months later on April 24, 2003. Subsequently he was employed by Respondent Hines Interest, LLP, also as building engineer, from July 14, 2003 until December 2006, when he was terminated again. Both jobs were primarily supervisory in nature and entailed maintaining and repairing commercial office buildings.

Petitioner alleged repetitive trauma injuries to his right wrist, right and left hands, right and left elbows and right shoulder while performing his job duties for both respondents. Petitioner submitted into evidence a self authored eight page, single space, typed detailed job description in which he grossly exaggerated the preventive maintenance and repair work allegedly performed for both respondents, and in fact attempted to take credit for work done by Hamilton Partners' general contractors. Petitioner testified that while working for Hamilton he maintained and repaired eight commercial office buildings, repaired roof leaks, HVAC units and exhaust fans on roofs, hauled supplies, performed frequent snow removal including lifting 50-80 pounds sacks of salt, and replaced motor compressors, full air conditioning units, pumps and pipes, rodded out drain lines, removed and replaced toilets and bathroom fixtures, etc.

He testified to using pipe wrenches, box end wrenches, open wrenches, ratchets, pliers, wire cutters and strippers, saws, drills and many other hand tools daily on a daily and weekly basis, maintaining that he spent at least six hours a day on average working with tools requiring the use of his hands. Respondent, Hamilton refuted these allegations with the testimony of several witnesses including assistant supervising engineer, Jim Kelly who testified that the petitioner's job duties at Hamilton were primarily supervisory in nature and that only 20% of his daily activities involved the actual use of his hands. Respondent submitted into evidence a job video narrated by Mr. Kelly, showing him performing Mr. Jordan's activities during a typical day at work.

BCM closes down petitioner's claim for future medical

Beverly N. Masuda successfully limits the Arbitrator's award to elements that were, from the outset, deemed compensable, but avoided prospective medical treatment, including repeat surgery for bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome and ulnar neuropathy, with its related periods of TTD and medical expenses.

Petitioner, a 45 year old assembler in a production department, claimed injury to both hands due to repetitive work activity. Her manifestation date was February 8, 2001. The employer accepted compensability for bilateral carpal tunnel conditions for which she underwent left and right releases, on August 27, 2004 and April 30, 2005, respectively. Following these releases, however, petitioner continued to complain of symptoms in her hands and also developed symptoms in the left elbow. The treating physician was of the opinion that petitioner did not have a simple case of carpal tunnel syndrome but cervical radiculopathy, a double crush injury, neuritis, and significant neural injury as well. He recommended repeat carpal tunnel releases and cubital tunnel ulnar nerve transposition on the left.

Evidence depositions were taken of the treating physician and one of the two respondent's medical experts. The treating doctor testified that petitioner's carpal tunnel syndrome and ulnar nerve problem was related to repetitive use and aggravation as a result of her work activities. He further testified that petitioner could not perform any job activity which required repetitive lifting over 10 pounds or working in cold weather. The treating physician testified that the recurrence of carpal tunnel syndrome in this case was both unusual and expected.

BCM proves that petitioner who claims to have lost all her memories, except for how her accident occurred, is not permanently and totally disabled

Mark F. Vizza tried this case on behalf of the respondent. This matter involves a woman who alleges she suffered an accident arising out of and in the course of employment when coming out of the bathroom stall she tripped on a bucket and hit her head. Susan Davis vs. American Heritage Protection, 03 WC 27813. She alleges that since that day in 2003, she has no memory of any aspect of her prior life, except for how her accident occurred.

Accident and causal connection were disputed in this matter. This matter went to trial before Arbitrator Edward Lee of the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission, and after hearing testimony from the petitioner and all the medical evidence regarding this case, awarded the petitioner 104 weeks temporary total disability benefits and 15% loss of use of the man as a whole and $20,000.00 in medical.

The petitioner had requested that she be found permanently and totally disabled, as she was claiming she was unable to return to any employment as she had forgotten all her training as a security guard and was nervous in crowds or around people after her accident. She contended that four years after the accident, she still did not remember any aspects of her life prior to the alleged accident. She did not remember her husband, her children, her sisters, or any other aspect of her life.

BCM shows that van driver who had a total knee replacement is not permanently and totally disabled

Mark F. Vizza tried this case on behalf of the respondent. It involves a petitioner who suffered an accident arising out of and in the course of employment in which he injured his right knee which necessitated a total knee replacement. Barry A. Clarke vs. Professional Transportation, 03 WC 36743. The petitioner also underwent a total knee replacement of the left knee, and was alleging that both were as a result of the accident arising out of and in the course of employment. The petitioner further alleged that as a result of these total knee replacements, he was unable to return to gainful employment.

He had been employed by the respondent as a van driver, and testified that he could no longer do the duties of a van driver. He had previous work experience as an air traffic controller, but had retired due to age. The petitioner alleges that he could not perform any functions and that he had looked for employment and could not find employment. It was brought out in testimony that he had applied for nine jobs since his release from medical care.

The petitioner's treating doctor indicated that the petitioner could return to driving a van if he was allowed to take a break every hour or so to prevent the development of blood clots. The respondent's independent medical evaluation found that the petitioner was not at risk to develop blood clots. A representative of the respondent testified that the petitioner's job was available and that they would allow him to take a break every hour to get out of the van and stretch his legs so he did not develop blood clots. The witness pointed out that this was contained in the employee handbook that an employee could at any time take a break if he felt one was necessary. The petitioner further testified that he never attempted to return to his job as a van driver.

  • 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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