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Personal Care Assistant Suffers Lacerated Tendon

December 14, 2017

Derek Lax of Ankin Law Office secured temporary total disability and accrued benefits for a personal care assistant who sustained a laceration of the flexor tendon while performing his duties as a PCA.

The PCA, Terrence Bakowski, explained that his job duties included assisting his client with activities of daily living, maintaining his client’s house and performing chores, such as cooking, cleaning, laundry, and clothing selection. Mr. Bakowski testified that as part of his normal duties, he often washed his client’s dishes. He testified that on March 14, 2011, he was at his client’s house washing his client’s glass vase when it broke, causing a deep cut through the base of his right thumb.

After surgery and months of physical therapy, Mr. Bakowski was still experiencing discomfort in his right hand and arm. The respondent in this case, the State of Illinois Department of Human Services paid temporary total disability until he was discharged from care.  Derek Lax of Ankin Law Office argued for continued ttd and compensation under Section 8(e) of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act.
The arbitrator, in his order, noted:

“Respondent  shall pay Petitioner $210.48/week for 19 weeks since Petitioner has sustained a loss of use of his right thumb to the extent of 25%, pursuant to Section 8(e)) of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act.”

and

“Respondent shall pay Petitioner benefits that have accrued since 10.21.11, and shall pay the remainder, if any, in weekly payments.”

(Read the complete Notice of Arbitrator Decision)
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A summary of Mr. Bakowski’s surgery:

When Mr. Bakowski returned to Swedish Covenant Hospital on April 26, the doctor found there to be a laceration of the flexor tendon. Surgical exploration of the right thumb and flexor tendon was recommended. On April 29, Mr. Bakowski underwent surgery that included:
1) exploration of the right thumb;
2) repair of the flexor pollicis longus tendon;
3) resection of neuroma; and
4) neurolysis of the ulnar digital nerve of the right thumb.