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Author: John Fassola

Jaskowiak v. Homer Township Fire

Congratulations to the Illinois Municipal League and Gina Terrano Panepinto for their successful defense on Appeal of this matter brought pursuant to Section 19(b)1 before Arbitrator Paul Cellini.  Following briefing on Review and expedited Oral Arguments, Panel A of the Workers’ Compensation Commission affirmed the Arbitrator's decision in Jaskowiak v. Homer Township Fire Protection District. The claimant was a fire fighter/paramedic who claimed injury to his foot and back after being disqualified from a 40-hour live fire training course due to heat exhaustion and dehydration.  We questioned the credibility of the claimant regarding the timing of the disqualification from the...

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Jared Vasiliauskas published in Sports Law newsletter

Congratulations to Jared Vasiliauskas for the recent publication of his article, "Legal Issues Surrounding the Potential Use of Ion Mobility Mass Spectometry in Anti-Doping Cases".  The article appears in the May issue of the Sports Litigation Alert newsletter.  Jared continues to demonstrate his expertise in the field of Sports Law.  You may read the article here: SLA-18-09-Legal-Issues-Surrounding-Potential-Use-Ion-Mobility-Mass-Spectrometry-Anti-Doping-Vasiliauskas...

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Sea v. City of Pekin

Congratulations to the Illinois Municipal League and John Fassola for their successful defense of a claim before Arbitrator Bradley Gillespie in Sea v. City of Pekin. The claimant was a bus driver who slipped and fell on two occasions. He alleged the development of medial epicondylitis and carpal tunnel syndrome as a result of the falls. We questioned the causation between the fall and the alleged conditions and obtained a supportive IME opinion. At trial, we focused on the delay in seeking treatment for the alleged conditions, and the inconsistency in Petitioner’s complaints. On cross-examination, Petitioner admitted that he had...

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Illinois General Assembly Passes Extension of COVID-19 Presumption

The COVID-19 rebuttable presumption statute that was enacted last Spring only extended through December 31, 2020.  On January 13, the Illinois General Assembly passed HB4276, extending the provisions of the statute through June 30, 2021.  Once signed into law by the Governor, it will provide the same rebuttable presumption of compensability for COVID claims going forward, and will also apply retroactively to claims that may have arisen between January 1 and the date of enactment.  The bill likewise extends COVID-related protections in the Public Employee Disability Act (PEDA) and other statutes.  Here is a link to the bill passed today:...

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Important New Decision from Illinois Supreme Court

On September 24, the Illinois Supreme Court issued a decision which arguably redefines the context by which everyday activities may be deemed as compensable workplace accidents.  In McAllister v. IWCC, 2020 IL 124848, a sous-chef claimed a knee injury from kneeling and standing in a food cooler looking for a tray of carrots.  The Supreme Court reversed the Appellate Court, finding that the action of kneeling and getting up to look for food was for the benefit of the employer, reasonable and foreseeable, and a risk incidental to the employment.  This case expands the definition of risks distinctly associated with employment...

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Power & Cronin is Leading Sponsor for Esports On-line Convention

Power & Cronin continues to develop its sports law practice and is proud to announce its participation as a Leading Sponsor for the Esports Convention in September.  EsportsNext, which is the online conference for the Esports Trade Association, will take place on September 21 and 22.  The announcement of Power and Cronin as a Leading Sponsor can be found at https://www.linkedin.com/posts/esports-ta_esportsnext-activity-6704035103535964160-MWeG/.  Further information about EsportsNext2020 can be found at https://esportsta.org/esportsnext-2020-conference/.  Any questions regarding our sports law practice can be directed to Jared Vasiliauskas....

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Pending Legislation on “Rebuttable Presumption” for COVID-19 Cases

As you are aware, in April, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission proposed a Rule change to adopt a “rebuttable presumption” for COVID-19 exposure in the State of Illinois.  The Rule change was successfully challenged in Court, and subsequently withdrawn by the Commission.  At that time, it was anticipated that legislative changes would instead be pursued to create a presumption of compensability for exposure to COVID-19.   The Illinois General Assembly was called into Emergency Session beginning on Wednesday, May 19.  As expected, a “rebuttable presumption” bill, which proposes to codify changes to the Workers’ Compensation Act and Occupational Diseases Act, has now...

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Revised IWCC Procedures for June

The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission has announced its revised procedures for hearings to take place during the month of June. A copy of the Commission’s memorandum of “Special Circumstance” procedures, a subsequent clarification memo, and the calendar of hearing dates can be found on the Commission's web-site at www2.illinois.gov/sites/iwcc. In summary, the Commission will continue to hold the June status calls in each venue telephonically. If one (or both) of the parties has requested a hearing, the cases will be set on a telephonic pretrial date, per the schedule of available dates in each venue. Depending on the size of the...

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IWCC Withdraws COVID-19 Rebuttable Presumption Rule

Following an emergency meeting this morning, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission has decided to withdraw its recently adopted Rule which created a rebuttable presumption for employees who are exposed to COVID-19. The Rule had created a great deal of concern among Illinois employers, who faced the difficult burden of proving that an employee’s positive COVID diagnosis was not related to a workplace exposure. The Illinois Manufacturers Association and Retail Merchants Association spearheaded a legal challenge to the Rule, and last week successfully obtained a temporary restraining order prohibiting enforcement of the Rule, pending further hearings. The Commission has opted to...

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