Another Win for Power & Cronin
Congratulations to John Fassola and the University of Illinois for their win in a case with a very unusual fact pattern. The claimant was a student lab worker at the University and alleged that he contracted HIV as a result of exposure to infected blood samples. At trial, we were able to successfully argue multiple avenues denying the compensability of the case. First, we noted the fact that the claimant had not immediately reported the exposure, which made the credibility of his allegation questionable. We also used medical evidence to suggest that the timeframe between the alleged exposure and the development of symptoms was too short. Finally, we used an expert opinion to argue that the alleged mechanism of exposure was unlikely to result in the development of the disease. Arbitrator Wesley agreed with the defense, and denied benefits. The Commission recently upheld the denial of benefits in a unanimous decision.