Neck Pain [2011]

STATE OF ILLINOIS ) X Affirm and adopt (no changes) | __ Injured Workers’ Benefit Fund
) SS. __ Affirm with changes | __ Rate Adjustment Fund
COUNTY OF KANE ) __ Reverse | __ Second Injury Fund
| __ PTD/Fatal denied
__ Modify | X None of the above



vs. NO: 10WC05707



Timely Petition for Review having been filed by Respondent herein and notice given to all parties, the Commission, after considering the issues of the nature and extent of Petitioner’s permanent disability, and being advised of the facts and law, affirms and adopts the Decision of the Arbitrator, which is attached hereto and made a part hereof.

IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED BY THE COMMISSION that the Decision of the Arbitrator filed April 28, 2011 is hereby affirmed and adopted.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED BY THE COMMISSION that the respondent pay to Petitioner interest under §19(n) of the Act, if any.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED BY THE COMMISSION that the Respondent shall have credit for all amounts paid, if any, to or on behalf of the Petitioner on account of said accidental injury.

Bond for removal of this cause to the Circuit Court by Respondent is hereby fixed at the sum of $21,000.00. The probable cost of the record to be filed as return to Summons is the sum

of $35.00, payable to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission in the form of cash, check or money order therefor and deposited with the Office of the Secretary of the Commission.




________________________ Case # ______________

On 4/28/2011, an arbitration decision on this case was filed with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission in Chicago, a copy of which is attached.

If the Commission reviews this award, interest of 0.11% shall accrue from the date listed above to the day before the date of payment; however, if an employee’s appeal results in either no change or a decrease in this award, interest shall not accrue.

A copy of this decision is mailed to the following parties:



STATE OF ILLINOIS ) _ Injured Workers’ Benefit Fund (§4(d))
)SS. _ Rate Adjustment Fund (§ 8(g))
COUNTY OF KANE ) _ Second Injury Fund (§ 8(e)18)
X None of the above


_________________________ Case # ___
v. Consolidated cases: n/a

An Application for Adjustment of Claim was filed in this matter, and a Notice of Hearing was mailed to each party. The matter was heard by the Honorable , Arbitrator of the Commission, in the city of Geneva, IL, on 4/7/2011. After reviewing all of the evidence presented, the Arbitrator hereby makes findings on the disputed issues checked below, and attaches those findings to this document.


A. _ Was Respondent operating under and subject to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation or Occupational Diseases Act?

B. _ Was there an employee-employer relationship?

C. _ Did an accident occur that arose out of and in the course of Petitioner’s employment by the Respondent?

D. _ What was the date of the accident?

E. _ Was timely notice of the accident given to Respondent?

F. X Is Petitioner’s current condition of ill-being causally related to the injury?

G. _ What were Petitioner’s earnings?

H. _ What was Petitioner’s age at the time of the accident?

I. _What was the Petitioner’s marital status at the time of the accident?

J. X Were the medical services that were provided to Petitioner reasonable and necessary? Has Respondent paid all appropriate charges for all reasonable and necessary medical services?

K. _What temporary benefits are in dispute?

__TPD __Maintenance __TTD

L. X What is the nature and extent of the injury?

M. _ Should penalties or fees be imposed upon Respondent?

N. _ Is Respondent due any credit?

O. _ Other _______

IC ArbDec 2/10 100 W. Randolph Street #8-200 Chicago, IL 60601 312/814-6811 Toll Free 866/352-3033 Web site:
Downtown offices: Collinsville 618/346-3450 Peoria 309/671-3019 Rockford 815/987-7292 Springfield 217/785-7087

On Jan. 8, 2010, Respondent was operating under and subject to the provisions of the Act.
On this date, an employee-employer relationship did exist between Petitioner and respondent.
On this date, Petitioner did sustain an accident that arouse out of and in the course of employment.
Timely notice of this accident was given to Respondent.
Petitioner’s current condition of ill-being is causally related to the accident.
In the year preceding the injury, Petitioner earned $83,233.28; the average weekly wage was $1,600.64.
On the date of accident, Petitioner was 25 years of age, married with 2 dependent children.
Petitioner has received all reasonable and necessary medical services.
Respondent has not paid all appropriate charges for all reasonable and necessary medical services.
Respondent shall be given a credit of $12,195.32 for TTD, $0 for TPD, $0 for maintenance, and $0 for other benefits, for a total credit of $12,195.32.
Respondent is entitled to a credit of $0 under Section 8(j) of the Act.


Respondent shall pay reasonable and necessary medical services of $2,808.93, as provided in Sections 8(a) and 8.2 of the Act.
Respondent shall pay Petitioner permanent partial disability benefits of $664.72/week for 20.5 weeks, because the injuries sustained caused the 10% loss of the right hand, as provided in Section 8(e) of the Act.

Respondent shall pay Petitioner permanent partial disability benefits of $664.72/week for 25 weeks, because the injuries sustained caused the 5% loss of the person as a whole, as provided in Section 8(d)2 of the Act.

RULES REGARDING APPEALS Unless a party files a Petition for Review within 30 days after receipt of this decision, and perfects a review in accordance with the Act and Rules, then this decision shall be entered as the decision of the Commission.

STATEMENT OF INTEREST RATE If the commission reviews this award, interest at the rate set forth on the Notice of Decision of Arbitrator shall accrue from the date listed below to the day before the date of payment; however, if an employee’s appeal results in either no change or a decrease in this award, interest shall not accrue.

April 27, 2011
WCArbDec p. 2
Petitioner testified he is employed by Respondent as an auto transport truck driver and was working on Jan. 8, 2010. That day he took a load to Bloomington IL. There was a dusting of snow and it was cold and frozen that day. As he was unloading he was pulling out the ramps or skids used to drive the cars off the truck, one got stuck. He had to pound on them with the tie down bar and pulled for 10 or 15 minutes. He felt pop in neck and drove back to terminal in Elwood. He filled out an incident report right away. PX1. Accident is not in dispute.

Petitioner testified Respondent sent him to emergency room in Joliet that day. The records are not in evidence. Petitioner testified he was released from that day.

On Jan. 15, 2010, Petitioner saw Dr. at His records show Petitioner described his accident. His assessment was neck pain and cervical radiculopathy. He prescribed an MRI, medication and took Petitioner off work. He opined Petitioner sustained a cervical radiculopathy as a result of his work accident pulling skids. Respondent started to pay workers’ compensation benefits. The MRI, with orbital s-rays, was done Jan. 20, 2010. It showed very slight multilevel disc bulging, most pronounce at C5/6 with minimal abutment of the tecal sac at those levels. Petitioner followed up with Dr. Physical therapy (PT) was prescribed and done at the doctor’s office. On March 12, 2010 he was released to modified duty, four hours a day. PX2.

Petitioner was examined by Dr. at Respondent’s request on March 15, 2010. His diagnosis was cervical muscle strain. He thought Petitioner’s symptoms were causally related to his work. He also thought Petitioner’s medical treatment had been appropriate and reasonable, including both the PT and time off work. Petitioner’s exam findings correlated with the MRI. He recommended work hardening. RX1.

On March 29, 2010, Dr. gave Petitioner an injection to hand, an arthrocentesis of the ring finger. He prescribed the work hardening recommended by Dr. . On April 26, 2010, Dr. released Petitioner at MMI. That day Petitioner was complaining of ring and little finger pain. Examination of the neck showed pain with palpation over the cervical bilateral cervical paraspinous muscle. The Spurling test was negative bilaterally. Petitioner also had tenderness with palpation over the right ring A2 pulley. He noted Petitioner continued to have a mild trigger and may require future trigger injections. PX2.

Petitioner testified he got relief from his treatment. His symptoms come and go but he definitely felt better than before. He returned to work on April 5, 2010 although he was still under Dr. ‘s care until his release on April 26, 2010. He still notices occasional pain in neck, sometimes up to a 5 on a 10 point scale. He still has occasional numbness. At trial, his neck was stiff. He stretches it out every day. He had no pain or stiffness in back before the accident and never to a doctor for his neck or hand before the accident.

On cross-examination, Petitioner testified he has not lost any time at work as a result of this accident since he returned and has had no further medical treatment. He took a day off for trial. He had a new injury at work on March 28, 2011, a fractured rib, but he has had no medical treatment because there’s nothing they can do. He hasn’t filed a worker’s compensation claim for that injury. The new injury has nothing to do with his cervical injury. He is taking Ibuprofen for his neck and hand.

At trial, Petitioner claimed $5,765.05 in medical expenses for the bill. PX2. His attorney represented the doctor billed at rates consistent with the medical fee schedule. Respondent had not confirmed that at the time of trial but represented that if the bill was causally connected to the accident and reasonable and necessary, it would be paid. The parties were allowed until the date of proposed decision to stipulate that the amounts shown on the bill were allowed by the fee schedule. In an email, dated April 21, 2011, Petitioner’s attorney advised that he had modified his claim to reimbursement of $2,808.93. On April 26, 2011, Respondent’s attorney agreed, by email, that it would pay the “$2800 figure.” ARBX1.
The Arbitrator concludes:

  1. Petitioner’s current cervical and right hand conditions are causally related to his undisputed accident of Jan. 8, 2010. Both treating Dr. and examining Dr. expressly opined causal connection.
  1. Petitioner is entitled to medical expenses of $2,808.93 pursuant to sec. 8(a) and sec.8.2 of the Act. Dr. opined the medical treatment had been appropriate and reasonable. Respondent agreed to pay this amount.
  2. Petitioner is sustained the permanent loss of 10% of his right hand (20.5 wks.) and 5% of the whole person (25 wks.) as a result of his Jan. 8,2010 accident. He sustained soft tissue injuries to both hands but required medication and PT to recover. With respect to his hand, he had one trigger injection and may require more in the future for the continuing symptoms documented by Dr. . His testimony that he occasionally had neck pain as high as a level 5 and took Ibuprofen regularly to cope with his symptoms was credible.

Chicago personal injury and workers’ compensation attorney Howard Ankin has a passion for justice and a relentless commitment to defending injured victims throughout the Chicagoland area. With decades of experience achieving justice on behalf of the people of Chicago, Howard has earned a reputation as a proven leader in and out of the courtroom. Respected by peers and clients alike, Howard’s multifaceted approach to the law and empathetic nature have secured him a spot as an influential figure in the Illinois legal system.

Years of Experience: More than 30 years
Illinois Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions: Illinois State Bar Association, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois
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