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

211 Landmark Drive, Suite C2, Normal, IL 61761

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Part-Time Keyboarding Insufficient to Prove CTS

November 2018

Erin Green was a part-time customer service representative for Teletech. The job required she answer phone calls and perform computer input. She used a headset for calls and operated a keyboard and mouse regarding the computer function.

Green handled just 13-16 customer service calls per day and the only repetitive use of her hands came with keyboarding. She was not obligated to squeeze, grasp, or use any kind of vibratory equipment. Green began to experience numbness and tingling from the fingertips of her right hand all the way up to the right elbow.

Contradictions Create Incredibility

In the matter of Karen Suknovich v. Child Link, Inc. the injured worker, a registered nurse, was hired by her personal friend, the CEO of the insured, to review case files and ensure that children’s medical conditions were adequately addressed by social workers and placement families. Both the nurse and the CEO lived in the same neighborhood and were involved in the same social groups, attending book clubs, theatre outings, and various group trips over the years.

On one particular Friday following a weekly meeting, both nurse and CEO went to lunch at a Potbelly’s restaurant to discuss that evening’s plans with friends as well as an upcoming group trip to Nashville. On their drive back to the office, they were involved in a motor vehicle accident. Initially, the nurse did not have any complaints, but later developed pain in her neck and low back. She ultimately underwent treatment for her lumbar and cervical spine, including an L4-5 discectomy and a two level foraminotomy at C5-6 and C6-7.

The Firm Defeats Marque Medicos’ Claim for Interest

May 2018

By W. Scott Trench

On May 4, 2018, Brady Connolly & Masuda, P.C. Attorney, W. Scott Trench, obtained a dismissal with prejudice in a lawsuit filed by Marque Medicos against a workers’ compensation insurer and its insured employer seeking recovery of statutory interest under Section 8.2(d) of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act for late payment of medical bills. Soon after the lawsuit was filed, the Illinois Appellate Court issued a decision in a putative class action lawsuit filed by Marque Medicos against numerous insurance companies for unpaid statutory interest. Marque Medicos v. Zurich, et al., 2017 Il.App. (1st) 160756. In the class action lawsuit, the appellate court held that Section 8.2(d) of the Act provided no private cause of action and affirmed dismissal of the lawsuit with prejudice.

In an effort to side step the Appellate Court’s decision in the class action lawsuit, Marque Medicos amended its complaint, asserting entitlement to recover statutory interest under the equitable theory of unjust enrichment – a cause of action which was not at issue in the class action lawsuit. In response, the defendants filed motions to dismiss the amended complaint. The motions argued that Marque Medicos’ clever pleading should not change the end result. Since the statute affords no private cause of action, Marque Medicos’ complaint should be dismissed no matter what label was placed on its cause of action.

Illinois Comp By The Numbers

May 2018

By Francis M. Brady

Outside influences can redirect the course of Illinois Workers’ Compensation Practice. Recent publications from two of them, the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute and the Illinois Legislature, have the potential to do just that.

WCRI, an independent, not-for-profit facility, located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, mines data from numerous sources, assesses it, and publishes various studies and reports. Its mission is not to advocate positions but, instead, to assist workers’ compensation policy makers and stakeholders in improving their systems.

Shining the Light on Trial Preparation

May 2018

In the case of Bobby Sims v. Berwyn South School District #100 the accident occurred when petitioner, who traveled from school building to school building performing maintenance functions, fell in a stairwell on district property. He claimed he couldn’t see the bottom steps because of poor lighting and, as a result, missed one, twisting his knee and sustaining a meniscus tear.

Trial preparation included two site inspections, one done exactly a year from the original accident and at the same time of day. That precision proved key as it conclusively demonstrated that at the time petitioner fell, the stairwell would have been illuminated by natural light flooding through an exterior window. Moreover, the pertinent entries from the Farmer’s Almanac were consulted and confirmed that lighting conditions in the stairwell upon the inspections were identical to the date of the alleged loss. Both inspections were well documented by photographs.

Wages for Short Timers

March 2018

By Kelly E. Kamstra

When a claimant is employed with an employer for at least a year prior to their workplace accident, the applicable average weekly wage is relatively straightforward to calculate. In situations where a claimant is employed less than a year prior to his or her workplace accident, a more involved analysis must take place.

Section 10 of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act addresses how an average weekly wage is to be calculated in cases where petitioner has worked less than a calendar year. The Commission can either add up claimant’s actual earnings for the period of her employment and divide by the weeks and parts worked; or, if her time has been really short, measure her AWW by the earnings data of a person working in a like job for the year preceding the claimant’s accident.

The question becomes, of course, what is a “really short” period of employment such that the IWCC will look to the earnings of a colleague.

  • 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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