Josh Rudolfi recently helped a garbage truck operator receive workers’ compensation benefits after he injured his back on the job. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission affirmed back surgery, payment of medical bills and Temporary Total Disability for the man.
The arbitrator ruled the disposal company to pay $19,065 to Northwest Medicine and $23,231 to ATI to cover the medical expenses incurred by the worker. The worker will also receive temporary total disability payments of $1,078/week for 50 weeks less payments already made. In addition, the worker will receive permanent partial disability benefits of $790/week because the injuries sustained caused the 25% loss of the person as a whole.
The worker was operating his residential garbage truck which required him to open the door of a dumpster, also known as a roll off box. While he was opening the box door it started to move and then stopped abruptly. When the heavy door stopped he felt a pain in his back. His arms went weak and his entire back locked up. He notified his supervisor and was driven to Physicians Immediate Care.
Over the next twelve months the worker saw several doctors as he tried to relieve the pain suffered in the accident. The pain was in his thoracic spine as well as his lumbar spine. He was also experiencing numbness in both legs. There was some dispute as to whether the the condition of ill-being in the lumbar spine and the subsequent treatment was causally related to the accident. The Arbitrator ultimately found that the worker and his legal team did prove causal connection based on upon the workers’ history of an acute onset of back pain and numbness in both legs.
“Based upon the record as a whole, the Arbitrator finds that Petitioner has proven by a preponderance of the evidence that the conditions of ill-being in the thoracic and lumbar spine are causally connected to the accidental injury sustained on July 24, 2017. Based on his findings, the Arbitrator also finds that Petitioner’s pre-existing condition of DVT/PE was temporarily aggravated by the lumbar spine condition and related treatment.” Taken from the Arbitrator’s Decision.