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Archive for May, 2013

Truck Driver Loses Suit in Illinois

May 29th, 2013 at 3:16 pm

In a recent case brought against the United Parcel Service (UPS), a driver failed to convince the Commission that he deserved compensation for an injury that occurred at the start of his workday, according to a recent Illinois Workers’ Compensation Law Bulletin. The claimant (hereby referred to as “Sims”—the case was entitled Sims v. United Postal Service) worked as a “feeder driver” for UPS. The incident occurred when he was walking down a set of stairs and felt his right knee buckle, an occurrence he claimed was directly related to the set of unique problems on his job. 

The unique problems Sims referred to are the “up and down, in and out” nature of driving a delivery truck. In 1999, Sims had had surgery on his left knee, and testified that as a driver he works 10 to 12 hours a day sitting and driving. He also testified that he experiences throbbing in his knees due to the inability to extend his legs while he’s behind the wheel. The throbbing, he testified, was directly related to the reason why his knee buckled on the stairs.

Yet the arbitrator handling the case shot down Sims’s testimony, by saying that because he was a feeder driver—not one expected to make hundreds of deliveries a day, only to and from the employer’s facilities, rail yards, and private accounts—his injury was not due to trauma sustained on the job. The arbitrator also argued that Sims had not worked a three-day holiday weekend before the accident (and so must have been well-rested), and had not even truly begun his workday when the accident occurred.

Cases such as this are tricky to win, but with a dedicated and experienced worker’s compensation attorney on your side you’re much more likely to walk away with a decent settlement. If you or someone you know has been injured on the job, or doing something related to work, don’t find yourself in situation like Sims. Contact an Illinois worker’s compensation attorney today.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Commission Rules in Favor of Woman With Back Problems

May 21st, 2013 at 3:06 pm

A boon for those with pre-existing conditions that affect his or her work came with a ruling in Chicago this fall, according to a recent law bulletin of the Illinois Worker’s Compensation Commission. In 2009, the claimant—an operating engineer—fell off the back of a flatbed utility cart and landed on her buttocks and lower back. Her back problems had begun nearly 10 years before that. About three years before the recent accident, she had been released without work restrictions and continued to work through her pain.

Regardless of the arbitrator’s argument—that her current condition was not related to the work injury of 2009—the commission ruled in her favor. This is great news for workers in Illinois who may have preexisting conditions, which could be exacerbated by routine work. According to the Law Bulletin, the case means that “where a claimant with a preexisting back condition can no longer perform her full work duties due to an accident at work, she is entitled to medical and indemnity benefits for the exacerbation of her preexisting condition.”

At a time when the Illinois Worker’s Compensation Commission is tightening its belt, this ruling may have come to a shock to many in Illinois—but it’s great news for Illinois workers who experience pain daily due to a previous injury or preexisting condition. A recent press release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics has more good news for American workers in general: there were only 3.5 injury cases per 100 full-time workers in 2010, down from 3.6 in 2009. Less injuries and coverage of preexisting conditions sets a good tone for Illinois as this year’s numbers get compiled.

If you or someone you know was injured on the job—or exacerbated a preexisting condition while working—you may be eligible for compensation. Contact a dedicated Illinois worker’s compensation attorney today.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Disneyland Closes Rides after OSHA Violations Received

May 14th, 2013 at 3:01 pm

Kerry 5-22The Los Angeles Times has reported that Disneyland Resort, in California, has shut down some of its rides, including Space Mountain, over safety concerns and citations from the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) for violations. A spokesperson for the company said the issuing of citations have prompted a review of employee safety protocols. Also closed were two other rides, the Matterhorn Bobsleds and Soarin’ Over California.

The Disneyland spokesperson also said the closures were strictly voluntary and the purpose was to ensure the safety of employees. “We constantly strive to maintain a safe work environment for our cast members and contractors — and we are reviewing certain protocols.”

The violations were from an incident that happened in November 2012 when an employee of a contractor was seriously injured while performing maintenance on the exterior of the Space Mountain ride. During the investigation into the accident, Cal/OSHA discovered that Disneyland had completed ‘Fall Protection Assessment Reports’ in August of 2006 and failed to adequately correct these known fall hazards that existed on the exterior of Space Mountain. The investigation also revealed that the company failed to have approved anchorages or approved tie-backs for contract employees to attach to when performing scheduled exterior building maintenance.

It’s unsettling that Disneyland closed these rides down not after the accident in November, but only after receiving violations. If you have been injured on the job, contact an experienced Chicago worker’s compensation attorney to make sure your rights are protected.

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