Psychological Trauma [2011]

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



Case #


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 Chicago, on February 24, 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 Respondent?
D. What was the date of the accident?
E. Was timely notice of the accident given to Respondent?
F. 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 Petitioner’s marital status at the time of the accident?
J. 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. 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

ICArbDec 2/10 100 W. Randolph Street #8-200 Chicago, IL 60601 312/814-6611 Toll-free 866/352-3033 Web site:
Downstate offices: Collinsville 618/346-3450 Peoria 309/671-3019 Rockford 815/987-7292 Springfield 217/785-7084

On February 6, 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 arose 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 $66,227.20; the average weekly wage was $1,273.60.

On the date of accident, Petitioner was 37 years of age, single with 1 dependent child.

Petitioner has received all reasonable and necessary medical services.

Respondent has not paid all appropriate charges for all reasonable and necessary medical services.

Respondent is entitled to a credit of $14,464.46 under Section 8(j) of the Act.


Respondent shall pay Petitioner temporary total disability benefits of $849.07/week for 14 1/7 weeks, commencing February 7, 2010 through May 17, 2010, as provided in Section 8(b) of the Act.

Respondent shall pay Petitioner the temporary total disability benefits that have accrued from through , and shall pay the remainder of the award, if any, in weekly payments.

Respondent shall pay reasonable and necessary medical services, pursuant to the medical fee schedule, of $178.04 to , $3,764.00 to , and $375.00 to , as provided in Sections 8(a) and 8.2 of the Act.

Respondent shall pay Petitioner permanent partial disability benefits of $664.10/week for 20 weeks, because the injuries sustained caused the 4% loss of the person as a whole, as provided in Section 8(d)2of 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.

__________________________________________________ May 20, 2011
Signature of Arbitrator Date

ICArbDec p. 2


Petitioner has worked for Respondent a rail service supervisor for 15 years. Her job duties include monitoring train delays, cleaning service disruptions, proceeding to the scene of delay, as well as interacting with police and fire personnel, municipal departments,, and the general public (T9;RX1). On February 6, 2010 she was sent to the Station. Upon arriving on the scene, Petitioner saw that there was a bloody man on the tracks. She helped clear the platform of pedestrians. She saw the fire department personnel drag the body from underneath the train and throw it onto the train platform. She testified that “it was too much for me to deal with (T10). The medical records show that Petitioner gave a history that she witnessed a gruesome scene, that passengers were in her face, yelling at her, and swearing at her, and that another supervisor had to take over (PX1;PX2). Petitioner testified that she still has symptoms and that doesn’t know if she would be able to go to another death scene (T15-16).
After leaving the scene the Petitioner was instructed to go to the to fill out an incident report. That day she was sent to where she was diagnosed with acute reaction to stress, was taken off work, and was referred to Dr. for psychological evaluation (T12-13;RX1).
On February 8, 2010, Petitioner was examined by Dr. . Petitioner reported symptoms of sleep disturbance, agitation, headaches, nausea, fatigue, crying, irritability, nightmares, flashbacks, and tremors. Dr. ‘s preliminary diagnosis was adjustment disorder with mixed anxiety and depressed mood. Dr. continued the Petitioner off work, and he referred her to Dr. for a psychiatric consultation to evaluate the possible benefit of a medication intervention (PX2).
On February 8, 2010, and March 29, 2010, Petitioner was examined, treated, and prescribed medication by Dr. (T14;RX3). She continued to treat with Dr. and he returned her to full duty work on May 17, 2010 (PX2).
a rail service supervisor for Respondent for 19 years, testified that she came to the scene on the date of the occurrence (T29-30). testified that when she arrived at station, Petitioner was already present (T31). testified that she cleared the train of passengers and helped clear the platform of pedestrians (T32). testified that she was never trained to deal with matters dealing with deceased persons (T32-33). testified that she was at the scene for maybe 45 minutes and that Petitioner was present the entire time (T37).



Whether or not a compensable accident occurred is the core issue in this case. The Arbitrator finds that a compensable accident occur. Petitioner was asked to work at a gruesome bloody death scene, something for which she was never trained. As a result, she sustained a sudden and severe emotional shock. Her psychological trauma occurred at a specific time and place. Her testimony was credible. The medical records are corroborative. Based upon the foregoing, the Arbitrator finds that an accident occurred that arose out of and in the course of Petitioner’s employment by Respondent.


The defense on these issues is based on liability for accident, which has been resolved in favor of Petitioner. Therefore, the Arbitrator finds that Petitioner’s current condition of ill-being is causally related to the psychological injury. The Arbitrator further finds that Petitioner is entitled to the claimed medical expenses and the claimed temporary total disability benefits.


Based upon the evidence presented, the Arbitrator finds that the Petitioner sustained a 4% loss of the person as a whole.

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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