When the call came in, all on the same day, Steve Murdock recorded three victories in three trials before the Illinois Workers’ Compensation. The first came from a case involving a claimant injured on a man-lift. The claim for injury to his foot and leg had been accepted by his employer and benefits paid, but when the claimant tried to tie in an alleged aggravation to his pre-existing degenerative disk disease resulting in a lumbar fusion and permanent restrictions, the respondent called an end to the claim. In defeating the claimed injury to the lumbar spine, including over two years of claimed TTD and over $150,000 in medical expenses as well as the related claim for permanent total disability benefits, Steve saved the company potential trial exposure of over $500,000 by securing an award for 15% loss of the foot, or $4,992.97. No Petition for Review has been filed yet in this case.
On the same day, Steve received two decisions in two consolidated cases. In the first case, the claimant alleged a traumatic injury to his hand and wrist resulting in three surgeries and permanent restrictions following an FCE that prohibited the claimant from returning to his normal work duties for his employer. The petitioner claimed that due to his age, lack of transferable skills and his restrictions resulting from the injury, he was permanently totally disabled. In his second case, the claimant alleged that as the result of exposure to repetitive trauma, he sustained a shoulder injury that also resulted in his receiving permanent restrictions that prohibited his return to work in any gainful capacity. In a trial that included physician depositions and live testimony from two vocational rehabilitation counselors, Steve prevailed by discrediting the testimony of the claimant and convincing the arbitrator that the claimant sustained a much lesser injury to the right hand for which the award was for payment of 15% loss of use of the petitioner’s hand, which after a credit for the over payment of TTD resulted in a net payment to petitioner of about $20,000, rather than the PTD award claimed by the petitioner, the present cash value for which was over $580,000. As for the shoulder claim, Steve was able to successfully defend that claim completely resulting in an no award for benefits. The claimant has filed Petitions for Review in both cases.