Plumbing Laborer Awarded TTD and Surgery after Fall Injury [2017]

A plumbing laborer was awarded $130,000 in bills and TTD along with a cervical fusion surgery while being represented by Ankin Law attorney, Josh Rudolfi. The petitioner, Robert Heilmann injured his neck and right shoulder when he fell down a staircase while carrying a countertop and sink. Although he has already had a previous surgery in 2005 the arbitrator ruled in the petitioner’s favor.

Heilmann testified that he was employed by the respondent, Advanced Geothermal Plumbing & Heating as a plumbing laborer. He testified he has worked for the company in the past on various jobs. Records indicate he had been employed by Advanced Geothermal Plumbing & Heating since August 15, 2015. Heilmann testified his job involved heavy lifting including carrying plumbing supplies to and from job sites.

On the day of the incident, Heilmann was carrying a sink and countertop up stairs when he lost his footing a fell down the fight of stairs, landing on his neck and right shoulder. The injury was reported to Advanced Geothermal Plumbing & Heating and Heilmann was taken to Presence St. Joseph Hospital. The Emergency Department records note the history of the accident with pain complaints in the right neck and shoulder. Heilmann had a CT scan of the cervical spine which noted a chronic fracture of the spinous process of C2 unchanged from a previous MRI on 916/14 and multilevel cervical spondylosis.

Heilmann testified he had a prior neck injury 2005 but had no treatment since that time. He testified that a 2014 MRI was performed in conjunction with an angiogram and was not related to any symptoms in his neck. He had worked in plumbing as a laborer from 2005 until the accident, performing labor-intensive duties.

Read the full Arbitrator Decision here
Summary of the Arbitrator Order:

Respondent shall pay Petitioner temporary total disability benefits of $507.17/week for 98 weeks, commencing November 14, 2015 through September 29, 2017, as provided in Section 8(b) of the Act. Respondent shall be given a credit of $26,372.86 for temporary total disability benefits that have been paid.

Respondent shall pay reasonable and necessary medical services, pursuant to the medical fee schedule, of $28,637.34 to instant Care Equipment Leasing, $55,806.30 to Elmwood Park Same Day Surgery Center, $14,794.20 to Workers’ Compensation Rx Solutions, $3,207.20 to Metro Health Solutions, $660.00 to Midwest Orthopedics at RUSH, and $627.12 to Prescription Partners, as provided in Sections 8(a) and 8.2 of the Act.

Respondent shall authorize and pay for additional reasonable and necessary treatment consistent the recommendations of Dr. Singh including a C5-6 fusion surgery with decompression or other reasonable and necessary care.

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.

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