June 02, 2007

Recent Court Decision Denied a Number of Disputed Claims Concerning Additional Maintenance or Temporary Total Disability Benefits

June 02, 2007

Consolidated Freightways v. Workers’ Compensation Commission and Mota v. Griffin Wheel Co. No. 1-06-1919WC and 07 I.W.C.C. 0365

  1. In Consolidated Freightways case, the Commission had awarded maintenance payments for 58-5/7 weeks of additional benefits and further ordered Consolidated to provide the claimant with meaningful vocational rehabilitation.  This finding was reversed by the appellate court which held: that the Commission’s order for vocational rehabilitation is inappropriate because there is no evidence in the record that such services will increase the claimant’s earning capacity.
  2. Mota v. Griffin Wheel Co.case is only at the Commission level but has relied on two appellate court cases with the same issue.  In Mota, the claimant’s treating physician released the claimant to light duty in September, 2004.  In December, 2004, the claimant retired and did not continue to look for work.  In September, 2005, claimant found work within his restrictions.  The court found that the claimant was not entitled to TTD beyond December 2004, on the date of his retirement, because he had not sought employment after that date.

    The Beuse case, which is cited in Mota, involved a policeman released for light duty which was not available by the Village of Franklin Park.  The claimant was only permitted to return to full duties as a policeman.  The claimant was held not to be entitled to TTD during the light-duty period because he did not seek any employment within his restrictions.

    The Granite City case also cited in, the claimant police officer believed that the City would eventually seek his termination as a police officer and did not accept the light duty offered.  The court held that the claimant was not entitled to TTD after he rejected the light-duty assignment.

Consolidated Freightways v. Workers’ Compensation Commission, No.1-06-1919WC, decided May 29, 2007 Mota v. Griffin Wheel Co. No. 07 I.W.C.C. 0365, decided March 30, 2007

Frank J. Wiedner, Editor Wiedner & McAuliffe, Ltd One North Franklin, #1900 Chicago, IL 60606 (312) 855-1105