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In Illinois, Kim Parks of our St. Louis office successfully defended a claim for seizure disorder following an injury in which the petitioner was struck by a vehicle. The case was accepted as compensable and benefits were paid for a knee and back injury. Approximately ten months after the work injury the petitioner went to the emergency room with complaints of seizures. As the petitioner was a truck driver, the diagnosis of seizures would effectively render him unemployable. The respondent disputed medical causation between the seizure diagnosis and the work injury. Dr. Patrick Hogan was the respondent’s expert and the petitioner’s expert was the treating doctor, Dr. Shah. The respondent discovered the petitioner had suffered from similar issues in the past. Dr. Shah’s testimony regarding causation was not particularly strong. The arbitrator denied causation between the seizure disorder and the work accident and denied benefits. Although the petitioner’s attorney filed an appeal to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, the case was settled in conjunction with the back and knee while the appeal was pending. (John Germann vs. Maschoff Transportation, 13-WC-36135)

Also in Illinois, Kim Parks of our St. Louis office recently received a decision from Arbitrator Lee denying compensability in a case arising from a fall down the steps. The petitioner worked as an assistant for a law firm which was housed in a two story building not owned or controlled by the respondent. There were other tenants in the building, including some on the second floor. The building also had an elevator but the petitioner testified she had a phobia of elevators and the elevator was not always in the best working order. The petitioner fell down the steps and sustained a shoulder injury which required surgery. The claim was denied from the beginning and no benefits were tendered. The petitioner attempted to argue she was exposed to a greater risk than the general public due to the number of times she went up and down the steps during the course of her work day. Arbitrator Lee found the petitioner was not exposed more than the general public and the act of going up and down the steps was a risk common to everyone and therefore denied the claim. No appeal was taken by the petitioner’s attorney. (Rebecca L. Johnson vs. Paul Lauber, 14-WC-33376)