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Synopsis: Stumbling Along In IL Work Comp—A New Permanency Concept of “Loss of Job???” Thoughts and commentary from Gene Keefe, J.D. Editor’s comment: Probably around a decade ago, someone or three of the IL WC Petitioner’s bar was successful in getting IL Arbitrators to award “loss of trade” to firefighters and police officers who could not longer be in the fire or police department due to a work-related event. To my mind, this was happening as a “going-away-present” as such workers receive line of duty disability pensions that provide lifetime benefits. You may not know but when police/fire officers get…
Synopsis: Here are Three Thoughts From Gene Keefe That All Illinois Risk and Claims Managers Need to Know.   Editor’s comment: I consider this stuff to be fairly important for you to consider.   First, before, during and after the Pandemic, injuries and work-related exposures that occur while working remotely from home are covered by Work Comp or the OD—OccDisease Act.    In Illinois, if and when your workers are hurt while working from home, they are entitled to the benefits and protections of the Illinois Workers’ Comp or OD  Acts.    Illinois law requires an employer pay for all…
Synopsis: Has the IL Supreme Court Ended Accident Defenses in Illinois? Are We Now a “Positional Risk” State? Editor’s comment: Please note Illinois is a one-party State. Republicans don’t have a seat at our State’s table (and may not ever be back). Like Chicago, the only election of note is the Democratic primary. In my view, decisions like this are felt to be “liberal” or pro-labor. I don’t agree with that view. I consider this an “anti-lawyer” ruling, as it is going to render claims that were previously defensible to now be compensable—please trust me, Illinois business/TPA’s and insurance carriers…
Eugene Keefe <EKeefe@keefe-law.com> 9:00 AM (2 hours ago) to Synopsis: Illinois Has Another Awful Anti-Business Law and This Law Can’t Be Blocked by the IL WC Act. Editor’s comment: In McDonald v. Symphony Bronzeville Park LLC, 2020 IL App (1st) 192398 (issued September 18, 2020), the Appellate Court ruled the exclusivity provisions of the Workers’ Compensation Act do not bar a claim for statutory, liquidated damages, where such damages arise under Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act where an employer is alleged to have violated an employee’s statutory privacy rights under the Biometric Information Privacy Act. The court ruled a…
Synopsis: Missing the 800lb. Gorilla—WorkCompCentral Reports City of Chicago WC Committee Saved $1 Million After Ald. Burke Stepped Down—What About the $100M WC Claims Spend? Editor’s comment: All Chicago media outlets are reporting Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s City of Chicago budget is expected to have a $2 billion deficit in the next 24 months. We are fairly sure it is going to be virtually impossible to make up that deficit and keep the “Second City” running in the fashion that has driven it into this whirlpool of skyrocketing debt. Municipal Bankruptcy and unpaid bills loom—hello Detroit. In the past, I have…
Synopsis: Federal Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals rules in Indiana case that Property Owner, Contactors Not Be Held Civilly Liable for Worker’s Fall. This is a “Must Read.” Comment by Kevin Boyle of Keefe Campbell Biery & Associates, LLC. Editor’s comment: Independent Contractor’s Employee was Unable to Pursue Negligence Claims Against Various Parties to the Construction Contracts. Jeffords v. BP Products North America Inc., Case No. 19-1533 (7th Cir. June 29, 2020). BP has an oil refinery in Whiting, Indiana and hired Fluor Constructors to provide engineering, procurement and construction management services for a project. BP and Fluor each entered into…
Synopsis: Must Read for All IL Staffing Companies!! Ottawa Appellate Court Dramatically Changes Liability/WC Law for IL Staffing Industry. Research and Analysis by Lindsay Vanderford, J.D. Editor’s Comment: In a split 2-1 Decision, the 3d District Appellate Court decided an appeal from the Circuit Court’s grant of dismissal of a common law or general liability lawsuit in favor of a worker attempting to sidestep the plain meaning of the IL WC Act in Jaime Quintana v. Ferrara Candy Company, Appeal No. 3-19-0414, Circuit No. 17-L-890. In a split decision, the Third District Illinois appeals panel comprised of Justices McDade, Wright,…
Synopsis: AS WE HEAD INTO AUGUST 2020 UNDER THE PANDEMIC IN IL—WC BENEFIT RATES RISE WITH THE HUMIDITY??—SHAWN BIERY’S UPDATED IL WC RATE SHEETS AVAILABLE SOON FOR ILLINOIS WC RATE INCREASE!!!    Editor’s comment: Illinois WC Rates Have Updated Again So Please Be Aware Of The New Rates or Your Claims Handling Will Suffer and Penalties May Ensue. Please also note that the IL State Min Wage is now $10 per hour and with the already mandated increases over the next few years wages are sure to go up to $15/hr in 2025, we will see the IL WC rates…
Synopsis: Note to the IL WC Bar—Consider a Release/Resignation Mandatory in any Claim Where an IL Employer Doesn’t Have WC Insurance. Editor’s comment: This is stuff I remembered, after I forgot it. I have handled a number of claims where an employer might not have had WC insurance or it innocently lapsed or whatever. In such a claim, the injured worker may be able to sue their employer in Circuit Court. Please note my reasoned opinion settling such a claim on “pink” IL WC contracts wouldn’t end the Circuit Court exposure—you have to have a separate release to cut off…
Synopsis: Black Lives Matter   Editor’s comment: I/We at KCB&A understand and agree with this concept. We join with lots of others across our country and the world to fight systemic racism. I want to confirm for my readers racism can’t be ignored but it isn’t a science and is one of the dopiest and most pointless things the human race has ever engaged in. I recoil to be asked my “race” in applications and anywhere. I assure all of you the goofy term “Caucasian” has nothing to do with the even goofier term “white.” If you want that analysis,…
Synopsis: WC/OD Coverage Considerations and Compensability for Covid-19 Claims. Learn what “I.I.I.” or “Infectious Incident Investigation” Means. Editor’s comment: As I have advised my readers, consider anyone investigating the “incident” leading to determination of when/if someone got Covid-19 at work to be just that—an incident you have a duty to fully investigate. You need to make it clear to your workers they need to fully cooperate as lives are clearly at stake. The focus isn’t on a WC-only claim—you are investigating a possible occupational disease that is primarily contracted from contact/germs from other humans. See my article below for investigation…
Synopsis: OSHA Enforcement Guidance for Federal Inspections/Record-keeping of COVID-19 Cases Compared to IL Legislation Just Signed by IL Governor Pritzker. Editor’s comment: Please note Illinois reported 867 new Covid 19 cases yesterday. We hit the peak with around four times that number some time back and Covid-19 may be disappearing soon—please keep distancing and masking. For riskies (or risk managers), this may be gone or minimal in your workplace in about a month. Our top clients and readers are asking what do we do in response to Governor Pritzker’s signature on the Covid-19 Bill that makes WC/OD coverage somehow “presumptive”…
Synopsis: IL Medical Care Providers Cannot “Lien” An IL Worker’s Claim or Settlement To Recover Unpaid Medical Bills. Editor’s comment: In their ruling in In Re Hernandez, No. 124661, our Illinois Supreme Court followed longstanding precedent to rule a pending WC claim and the proceeds of an IL workers’ compensation settlement are not amenable to liens or claims by medical providers who treated the illness or injury. The facts indicate between 2009 and 2011, Claimant Hernandez sustained on-the-job injuries and received medical treatment from Ambulatory Surgical Care Facility, Marque Medicos Fullerton LLC, and Medicos Pain and Surgical Specialists S.C. In December…
Synopsis: The Rebuttable Presumption Returns to Illinois Workers’ Comp for Covid-19 Claims! Are You Doing Everything You Can To Protect Your Workers? If So, You May Be Able To Rebut The Presumption! Thoughts and Research by Shawn R. Biery, J.D.; MSCC and John P. Campbell, Jr. J.D.   Editor’s comment: Last month, the IL WC Commission-created “emergency rule” to create a rebuttable presumption on alleged Covid-19 workplace infections was the subject of lawsuits and eventually withdrawn, which compelled an  “agreed” legislative change to the Occ Disease Act. Our IL General Assembly passed legislation renewed the rebuttable presumption of work-related Covid-19…
Synopsis: State of IL Financial Crisis Brewing; When Will the IL WC Commission Go Back to “Virtual” Work?   The State of Illinois is going to be reaching a crisis in funding State government agencies, payrolls and expenses very soon, if not already. We assure you it isn’t a question of if there will be an IL State funding crisis—it is just a matter of how big and when that crisis will land.   During this crisis, IL State Tax collections across the board are certain to dramatically suffer, creating a gaping hole that won’t be easily filled in this…
Synopsis: Managing a New WC/OD World After Covid-19 Passes—A “How To” on Defending Work Injuries/Exposures for Employees Who Will Continue to Work From Home.   Editor’s comment: I feel confident Covid-19 is cresting and going back down to the point it will soon disappear from our lives. Yes, some of that sentiment may be “hopeful thinking” by me. What I do feel we are going to experience is lots of workers are going to try to remain at and work from home. I assure my readers if your account/company has folks working from home, they can and will receive WC/OD…