In a two-pack of cases that we previously reported on, I&F Partner Steven Murdock secured affirmation from the Cook County Circuit Court that the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission’s Decisions finding that the claimant was not credible were not contrary to the manifest weight of the evidence presented at trial. (The arbitrator had also found the claimant not credible in his testimony.) The first of the two underlying cases involved an accident for which liability was accepted, but for which the nature and extent of the injuries as well as medical causal connection for some of the treatment and lost time was fully disputed. In that case, the arbitrator and the IWCC found unanimously that the claimant’s testimony as to the extent of his injuries did not match the initial medical history and treatment and that his other inconsistencies throughout the trial created a general lack of credibility on the part of the claimant. It was found that the petitioner did, in fact, sustain injury, but only to the extent of 15% loss of use of his right hand, not the permanent total disability he claimed following two unrelated surgeries to that hand.
In the second claim, the petitioner alleged exposure to repetitive trauma resulted in an injury to his right shoulder. In this case, the arbitrator again found the claimant’s testimony not credible and also found that the claimant failed to prove an exposure to repetitive trauma when he had been off work for almost 75% of the four years prior to the alleged manifestation date secondary to prior claims. The claim was also denied on issue of notice and causal connection, and no benefits of any kind were awarded in this claim.
The Cook County Circuit Court issued its decision after briefing and oral arguments agreeing with our client’s position that the findings of the IWCC were not contrary to the manifest weight of the evidence and should not be disturbed. The claimant has stated he intends to file further appeal.