Workers Compensation Reform Passes Both Houses in General Assembly

In the final hours of the legislative session, the General Assembly voted to implement substantive changes to the Workers’ Compensation Act under HB 1698.  The legislation now awaits Governor Quinn’s signature.  Below is a summary of how the legislation unfolded over the past five days. Friday, May 27, 2011 After months of negotiations between all

Multiple Injuries to the Same Body Part Merit One Disability Award

The City of Chicago vs. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, et al. and Robert Baumgardner vs. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, et al. No. No. 1-09-2320WC and No. 1-10-0727WC In two decisions issued on the same day, the appellate court has held that multiple injuries involving the same part of the body merit only one permanency

MSPRC Suspends Issuance

Greater delays in obtaining conditional payment information should be expected following MSPRC’s recent announcement that it has suspended issuance of Rights and Responsibilities letters and Conditional Payment Demand Letters.  This change in protocol is presumably in response to an Arizona federal court’s recent opinion in the case of Haro v. Sebelius, where the court ruled

Workers Compensation Reforms Advance in Springfield

Senate Amendment 3 to House Bill 1698 was introduced in the Senate on May 26, 2011.  The following represents the most substantive proposed changes: Compensability standard codified –an employee bears the burden of showing, by a preponderance of the evidence, that an accidental injury arose out of and in the course of the employment. Carpal

Successive Falls on Stairs Deemed Noncompensable

Cathy Baldwin vs. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, et al. No. No. 4-10-0375WC Cathy Baldwin sustained injuries while working on two separate dates, October 8 and November 19, 2006.  In her work as a security guard, she was assigned to “inside” work which consisted of walking throughout a building and around its perimeter.  On October 8,

Refresher on Review Thresholds under the Medicare Secondary Payer Law

Medicare, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), have made clear that the interests of Medicare must be considered in every workers compensation settlement.  How and when to consider Medicare’s interests is not the subject of universal understanding. In its most basic distillation, there are three aspects to considering and protecting the interests

Appellate Court Adopts “Street Risk” Doctrine

Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission No. 1-09-2546WC Ruth Lundquist was employed by the Water Reclamation District as an accounting clerk.  Part of her duties included depositing checks to the bank located approximately 1.5 blocks southeast of the District’s office.  She performed this task two or three times per

Subrogation Lien Not Limited to Sums Paid by Guaranty Fund

Raul Sanchez v. Rental Service Corporation No. 1-08-3304, 1-09-0165, 1-09-0188 (Cons.) Raul Sanchez was injured while working for Paul’s Welding Service, Inc. (PWS).  In addition to collecting benefits under the Workers’ Compensation Act, he also filed a civil action against Rental Service Corporation (RSC), who he claimed was responsible for his injuries.  The carrier for


Tower Automotive v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission No. 1-09-3161WC Robert Nowak worked for Tower Automotive operating a forklift which he claimed caused accidental injuries.  His employer disputed the work‑relatedness of his condition and the matter proceeded to trial.  One of the issues presented at the hearing was how petitioner’s wages should be calculated. With respect


Beginning January 4, 2011, in a veto session, workers’ compensation reform came to Illinois in legislation now known as Senate Bill 1066.  This bill emerged after three Senate and two House public hearings.  Representative John Bradley (D) and Dan Brady (R) were responsible for presenting the bill to the House.  Senate Bill 1066 included numerous