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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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The Michelangelo Syndrome

Peter J. Stavropoulos recently preserved a "zero" award saving his client $83,097.50 in past temporary total disability; a future stream of TTD at $966.25 per week; $35,165.28 in medical expenses already incurred, and future medical cost including a two-level cervical fusion.

Petitioner argued that his job duties required him to look up while painting a ceiling for eight hours daily over 5 months. The Arbitrator found him not to be credible siding instead with the employer's witnesses Peter adduced. They testified concerning the variety of duties performed by petitioner and the amount of time he spent not paining at all. Moreover, pre-trial investigation Peter conducted with the help of the adjuster allowed him to demonstrate to the Arbitrator that petitioner was a convicted felon and served 14 years of a 37-year sentence for murder and arson. Based on this investigation, Peter showed the Arbitrator that petitioner had, in fact, lied on his employment application.

After finding against petitioner on the issue of accident, the Arbitrator also considered whether the neck condition in question was caused or aggravated by any work activity (ceiling painting or otherwise). He disregarded the opinions of petitioner's chiropractor, concluding his testimony revealed he did not understand petitioner's job duties, nor even had a firm diagnosis. The Arbitrator also discounted the testimony of petitioner's treating orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Lorenz, whose answers to Mr. Stavropoulos' cross-examination showed he misunderstood, completely, petitioner's job duties.

In contrast, the Arbitrator found Respondent's Section 12 examiner, Dr. Zelby, most credible. He concluded that Dr. Zelby had a firm understanding of petitioner's job requirements.

The Arbitrator also found persuasive Mr. Stavropoulos' argument that since petitioner's symptoms had not subsided after he ceased working for the Respondent, the work activities did not contribute to them in any way and second, because the petitioner continued to work full time and full duty for the entire time that he was employed by the Respondent from the time his symptoms allegedly started in October of 2009 through his layoff in February of 2010, the petitioner's symptoms were not caused, aggravated or accelerated by his job duties.

The Commission has now affirmed the Arbitrator's awards and petitioner's attorney indicates no further appeal will be filed.

  • 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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