Arbitrator Awards Permanency to Injured City of Chicago Street Sweeper Driver

April 19, 2019

Ankin Law Office attorney, Scott Goldstein represented a City of Chicago Motor Truck Driver who was injured when the street sweeper he was operating was hit by another vehicle. The Arbitrator found that the driver, Preston Smith is entitled to have and receive from the City of Chicago an award of permanency equivalent to $95,245, representing 127.71 weeks at a rate of $775.18 per week because he sustained a 25.54% loss of the man as a whole.

(Read the full Arbitrator Decision)

Working for the Department of Streets and Sanitation, Smith was 58 years old when he was injured. He was evaluated at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center the day of the accident and was diagnosed with a cervical sprain, lumbar sprain, knee contusion, and rib contusion. When the pain persisted he underwent multiple treatments and tests that included a trigger point injection, an MRI of his lumbar spine, epidural steroid injections and an EMG nerve conduction velocity study.

Unable to return to his usual and customary position as a truck driver with the City of Chicago, Smith was placed into a vocational rehabilitation program to aid him in finding gainful employment within his restrictions. Smith was 58 years old at the time of the accident and is currently 61 years old. At this age, he is not likely to fully recover from his injury as a younger worker in same line of work. The Arbitrator found that Smith’s age and the severity of his injury warrants consideration of more disability for his factual situation than a younger worker who is employed in a lighter duty position.

Since the accident Smith has been treated for mild central stenosis, bilateral lateral recess stenosis, and moderate severe bilateral foraminal stenosis. L3-L4, mild central stenosis, mild bilateral recess stenosis, and bilateral forminal stenosis, right greater than left. L2-L3 borderline central stenosis and mild bilateral foraminal stenosis. L1-L2 borderline narrowing proximal, left foramen and right L4-L5 radiculopathy with indication of lower extremity peripheral neuropathy. Physical examination also noted reduced strength of the lower extremities.

The back and neck issues he now suffers include degenerative diseases including arthropathy, vertebral body loss of height and endplate sclerosis at all levels, most prominently at L4, L5, and S1 vertebral bodies.

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