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211 Landmark Drive, Suite C2, Normal, IL 61761

211 North Broadway, Suite 2200, St. Louis, MO 63102

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Two Birds, One Stone: Simultaneously Concluding Work Comp and Civil Litigation

December 2018

By: Jeffrey F. Clement

The Petitioner sustained eye injuries while laying carpet. Not only was he the sole employee of the Respondent company, he was its President. Defending against his attempt to recover Comp benefits, BCM obtained a copy of the Respondent’s workers’ comp insurance policy. Careful scrutiny confirmed petitioner was not protected. Specifically, he executed a form electing to opt out of coverage. BCM notified Petitioner’s attorney that the case would be fought in consideration of his client’s choice.

Counsel for Petitioner believed he would be able to argue in his client’s favor based on either an equitable remedy or by arguing the policy to be illusory. In other words, counsel thought it was “not fair” the Petitioner could pay premiums but not be covered for his injuries sustained at work. The issues counsel raised would require a Declaratory Judgment action in the law courts for their resolution.

Legislative Update

November 2018

By: Francis M. Brady

As a statutory remedy(1.), Illinois Workers’ Compensation practice can be shifted abruptly and drastically by the Illinois General Assembly. Examples of this particular feature include the implementation of a Fee Schedule in 2005 and the adoption of AMA Guidelines in 2011. By pushing buttons, literally, in Springfield, legislators fundamentally alter the operation of Work Comp in Illinois.

It behooves those interested in the Comp system to remain abreast of events in the State Capitol. Indeed, monitoring our Governor, Senators, and Representatives is critical to sustaining the rights of business. But as the vigil is kept, it becomes clear that those making the rules do not always have a solid grasp of what they are ruling on. That misapprehension can lead to unintended legislative outcomes.

Breaking the Chain of Causation: Blaming the Later Accident

November 2018

By Steven L. Miller

Hamm hurt his right arm on June 16, 2014. He hurt it again in two later job connected accidents, one on April 1, 2015 and the other on April 3, 2015. He filed three Applications, one for each loss date. The first was filed against “Pars” while the second and third named another employer, “Henkel.”

The cases were all consolidated and tried at the same time, with the Arbitrator concluding that Hamm’s right shoulder problems were causally linked to all three accidents. Accordingly, he apportioned TTD and the cost of medical care so that Pars and Henkel each paid a portion of the benefits awarded.

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

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.

  • 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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