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Synopsis: What Happened in Illinois During the Election Last Week. Editor’s comment: As I have advised our readers, Illinois is a “one-party” State and will remain same for at least a generation to come. In my view, Illinois is no longer a “democracy” because so many voters have an overridingly strong incentive to maintain their government benefits, in particular the fake and unfundable government pensions that are akin to winning the lottery. It is also truly odd for our Governor to admit he spent about $350 million of his own money to be Governor and do very little, almost nothing, in
Continue Reading 11-18-2022; What Happened During the Election Last Week; Can Walking Now Be An "Accident" in This Nutty State?

Synopsis: Unless You Like Wildly Higher Taxes and Overpaid IL Government Workers, Please, PLEASE Vote Against Amendment 1, the so-called “Workers’ Rights Amendment.” Editor’s comment: I assure you the State of Illinois is wildly in debt, to the tune of billions and billions of dollars. Our State government got a one-year reprieve from its financial misery because the Democrats in Washington borrowed trillions of dollars and spread it out among the States in a fashion that allows those States, like Illinois, to falsely claim they had a good financial year. Right now, I feel confident Illinoisans are paying the highest tax load
Continue Reading 10-30-2022; Please, Please Vote Against Amendment 1, the so-called "Workers Rights Amendment"; IL State Chamber WC Seminar This Wednesday–Still Time to Register and much more

Synopsis: Big Mac Gets Whacked for IL WC Penalties/Fees. Your Editor is not sure why this set of facts needed an appeal to the IL Appellate Court and a reported ruling.
Editor’s comment: The Illinois Appellate Court, WC Division upheld an award of full benefits, including Claimant’s attorney fees and other penalties for a long-time McDonald’s employee for an unreasonable contest to her IL WC claim. We are fairly sure this was a franchise store and not a company-owned location.
In my view and as a veteran defense attorney, this is a classic example of frustrating IL WC overtreatment by
Continue Reading 8-8-2022; Big Mac Gets Whacked with Penalties/Fees; IRS Increases Mileage that Changes IL WC IME’s and more

Synopsis: The “buried” IL WC IME report… what happens at trial?

Editor’s comment: While Respondents may technically keep an IME report from the trial record on hearsay grounds, doing so often places the defense posture on tenuous ground.

In Kelly Stork v. Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital, 19 WC 27240, 21 IWCC 0032 (2021) Petitioner worked for Respondent as an Obstetrics Technician, assisting doctors during child birth. At the time of accident, Petitioner was holding a woman’s leg during childbirth and alleged she injured her back and hip.

Respondent obtained two IME’s. However, there was a strong suspicion these were less than
Continue Reading 5-15-2022; The "Buried" IME Report–What happens at hearing in IL WC?; UR given proper respect by IL WC Commission; Please don’t hit me.. it may not be covered by IL WC Insurance and more

Synopsis: What Am I Missing in IL WC School Bus Driver Claim?Editor’s comment: Every hand is a winner and some hands are losers. When do you stop appealing a ruling to keep losing before every hearing/appeal officer?An IL school bus driver had work that involved picking up children/students in the morning and driving them to school and then returning and picking up students from school in the afternoon and driving them home.The driver began driving a bus with a manual door opener that required the use of a door handle to open/close the bus door at each and every stop.
Continue Reading 4-28-2022; What Am I Missing in IL WC School Bus Driver Claim? and more

Synopsis: Case Law Update on IL WC Court rulings and interpretation. Thoughts and comments from John P. Campbell and Shawn R. Biery of Keefe, Campbell, Biery & Assoc.
Editor’s comment: By way of review, in McAllister v. IWCC, the IL Appellate Court, WC Division was divided regarding the extent to which injuries caused by everyday activities were compensable under the IL WC Act. The majority favored the analysis contained in Caterpillar Tractor Co. v. Industrial Comm’n, 129 Ill. 2d 52 (1989). This was an injury when Claimant stepped of a street curb going to his car and popped an ankle.
Continue Reading 3-6-2022; IL WC Case Law Update from John P. Campbell and Shawn R. Biery and more

Synopsis: ITLA Wins Again, As Some IL Construction GL Claims Not Blocked by Exclusive Remedy Protection in IL WC Act.Editor’s comment: As I have advised my readers, Illinois is a one-party State. In a one-party State, the controlling side almost always gets what they want. To me, this ruling is a clear win for one of the largest political donation machines in our state—ITLA or the IL Trial Lawyers Ass’n. In Munoz v. Bulley & Andrews, Claimant was injured at work. It appears there are two different corporations involved—one is Bulley & Andrews. Bulley & Andrews, LLC is one of
Continue Reading 1-24-2022; Bulley & Andrews Stuck with WC and GL Liability on Same Event; Will WC Surveillance Ops Start to Use Remote Cameras and Drones and more

Synopsis: IL Lawyer Sues Himself and Loses! Editor’s comment: Well, there is an unusual claim for all risk managers and claims handlers to consider. We saw an unusual case from Illinois in which Marvin Brustin, an 81-year-old attorney and the president of Brustin & Lundblad, Ltd. He is one of the top Plaintiff personal injury lawyers in the U.S. He was licensed to practice law while Jack Kennedy was president way back in November 1961! A little over 10 years back, in October 2011, Attorney Brustin sustained shoulder injuries at a bus stop. Falls at bus stops would usually happen on the
Continue Reading 1-19-2022; IL Lawyer Sues Self and Loses!; Joe D'Amato on IWCC Changes; God Bless Martin Luther King, Jr. and more

Synopsis: Toward a Better Understanding of Workers’ Compensation, As We Enter a New Year. Editor’s comment: I have been doing this stuff—workers comp—for several decades. Here are some thoughts about my life’s work and where the system is at from a veteran WC defense lawyer. Please note very few business schools teach WC so what most of us learn, we learn by the seats of our pants—by that I mean we rely on training in other fields and our best judgment. To all adjusters and risk managers and attorneys on both sides out there in “Blog-Land,” I am happy to answer
Continue Reading 12-28-2021; Toward a Better Understanding of Workers’ Compensation; Illinois' Awful BIPA Law Rears Its Business-Busting Head Again; HAPPY NEW YEAR and more

Synopsis: U.S. Employers with over 100 Employees Need to Come into Compliance To Block Covid-19.
Editor’s comment: In short, get them all vaccinated or test and test every week! Don’t get cited by OSHA, you may regret it.
Five days ago, on December 17, 2021, a federal Court of Appeals dissolved the stay of OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) previously ordered. Therefore, OSHA’s standard mandating workplace vaccination and testing on all private employers with 100 or more employees is back on.
On December 18, 2021, the day after the federal decision was released, OSHA announced that it will not issue
Continue Reading 12-22-2021; Get Vaccinated or Test Weekly Per OSHA for Employers with 100+ Workers; Important Settlement Ruling by IL Supreme Court; Dr. George Holmes Retires; IL Minimum Wage Goes Up and more

Synopsis: The “Two Doctor” Rule in IL WC and Related Concerns about Controlling Medical Care in this Liberal StateEditor’s comment: A fundamental benefit of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act is the employer’s liability for costs associated with reasonable and necessary related medical care pursuant to the effects of or the aggravating effects of accidental injury or illness. The section of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act which discusses the employer’s liability to pay for such medical services selected by the employee is discussed in Section 8(a) of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act which limits the employer’s liability to the following:(1) all
Continue Reading 12-13-2021; "Two Doctor" Rule in IL WC and Other Thoughts; WC/OD Asthma Claim Denied by IL Appellate Court; We mourn the passing of Ellis Sostrin and more

Synopsis: Covid-19 and Its Late-Comer Mutants Are Staying for Now—What is Happening in IL Work Comp/OccDisease. Editor’s comment: Decisions from IL WC arbitrators indicate the “presumption” of coverage for Covid-19 exposure/illness should be rebuttable, if done so carefully. Early results indicate Illinois employers and insurers might be able to rebut the presumption making COVID-19 or its new mutations compensable by providing  

  • Evidence of employer efforts to mitigate the spread of the disease in the workplace;
  • A contact history of other folks to whom the worker might have been exposed in the workplace;
  • Documentation of the worker working from home or

Continue Reading 11-29-2021; Covid-19 and Its Late-comer Mutants Are Staying for Now—What is Happening in IL Work Comp/OccDisease; Understanding IL WC Status calls and more

Synopsis: IL WC Parking Lot Fall-Downs Can Be Defended and Won.Editor’s comment: In Vaughn v. IWCC and Memorial Medical Center, our IL Appellate Court, WC Division outlined a clear path for a parking lot/curb fall down claim to be defended and won. In this opinion, the parties stipulated claimant fell in a parking lot on Memorial’s premises and suffered injuries. The arbitrator admitted into evidence various photographic exhibits depicting the condition of the sidewalk, curb and slanted asphalted surface where claimant stepped, stumbled and fell. To my understanding, the photos indicated the curb, sidewalk and asphalt were in ordinary condition and
Continue Reading 10-17-2021; Appellate Court Surprise! IL WC Parking Lot Fall-Downs Can Be Defended; John Campbell and Shawn Biery to Present for the IL State Chamber Tuesday–Don't miss it! And more

Synopsis: Federal Vaccine Mandate appears on a Collision Course with State Statute; U.S. Employers stuck squarely in the middle! Research and Comment by John P. Campbell, J.D. Editor’s Comment: On Sept. 9, 2021 President Biden signed the “Path out of the Pandemic” pursuant to Executive Order.  This plan included a series of directives compelling Covid vaccination of employees, some of which appear, at least at first glance, to be in direct contradiction to Illinois State law as well as similar state statutes around the nation.  This Federal directive will be enforced by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Health and Safety Administration
Continue Reading 9-28-2021; Federal Vaccine Mandate appears on a Collision Course with State Statute by John Campbell; Changes Coming at IL WC Commission and more

Synopsis: IL WC Appellate Court Stunner—VocRehab in IL To Include/Require Provision of Vocational “Assessments” and Job Placement Services. Editor’s comment: Once I think this work comp defense stuff is easy, I read decisions such as this. Please remember there are many rules and requirements in IL WC that don’t have a penalty if you don’t follow the rules. But if the Commission and Courts are going to require it, the legal and claims industry is going to have to follow. As another preliminary thought, please also note this claim is 18 years old and still not done!!! In their ruling in CDW
Continue Reading 9-9-2021; IL WC Appellate Court Stunner–Voc Rehab Needs "Assessments" and Voc Rehab Now Includes Job Placement Services; IN WC Board Update by Kevin Boyle and more

Synopsis: “Global Warmed” Has Happened and Sure to Get Worse—What Does It Mean for Work Comp?  Editor’s comment: In the last 60 days, the U.S. Pacific Northwest was hit with temperatures over 115 degrees—another boiling hot event is predicted in that area again for right now. Sicily, Italy just hit an all-time record temperature for Europe of over 115 degrees. In short, this planet is getting hotter and hotter and we aren’t truly doing much about it. While those temps above may bother you and me, my bigger concern isn’t 115+ degrees—it is what we are going to do if Chicago
Continue Reading 8-14-2021; "Global Warmed" Has Happened–What Does It Mean for WC?; Shawn Biery's New and Updated IL WC Rate Sheet and more