Black & Jones Wins Permanent and Total Disability Award for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Black & Jones Attorneys at Law recently won permanent and total disability benefits for an injured worker who developed bilateral carpal tunnel and cubital tunnel syndrome because of her repetitive work activities. She spent 10 years as a packer on an assembly line, performing highly repetitive work with her hands before developing numbness and tingling in her hands in 2011.
The Fight for Workers’ Compensation Benefits
The injured worker chose Black & Jones Attorneys at Law to represent her. Attorney Jason Esmond fought for the client and was able to get the insurance company to pay for appropriate medical treatment as well as pay her benefits for time lost from work. The client had to undergo bilateral carpal tunnel release surgeries in 2012 and then tried to return to work in 2013. Unfortunately, when she returned to the same job, the client again developed symptoms in her hands and elbows, which got worse in 2016.
Black & Jones Attorneys at Law filed a second claim to force the insurance company to pay for additional medical treatment and to compensate the client for time lost from work. The injured worker had to undergo a right cubital tunnel release and a second surgery on her left hand involving a re-release of the left carpal tunnel in 2017.
Despite the procedures, she continued to experience pain, numbness and tingling in her hands and did not think she could return to the same type of work. Black & Jones strategically secured expert medical opinions that the petitioner was limited from performing repetitive work with her hands and that her bilateral upper extremity conditions were caused by her repetitive work duties. The workers’ compensation insurance company then secured its own expert opinion that the injured worker’s ongoing symptoms were unrelated to her work activities.
As a result, Black & Jones Attorneys at Law secured a report from a vocational expert prior to trial. The vocational expert opined that due to the petitioner’s educational background, work history, language skills and work restrictions, there was no stable labor market available to her, despite being only 48 years old. In other words, she was not employable. Black & Jones then forced the case to trial for their client.
The case went to trial before an arbitrator with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. The arbitrator found that the injured worker’s current condition of ill-being in her upper extremities was causally related to her repetitive work activities. The arbitrator also found the opinions of the worker’s treating doctor and examining physician to be credible and persuasive.
Justice Pays Off!
As such, the arbitrator awarded 180 weeks of temporary total disability benefits and payment of her outstanding medical bills. The arbitrator found:
- Black & Jones’ vocational expert persuasive
- The injured worker to be permanently and totally disabled
She was awarded permanent and total disability benefits at the minimum permanent total disability benefit rate of $524.34 per week, which was more than what she was earning before the injury! Despite earning only $405.06 per week at the time of her injuries, the petitioner was awarded $524.34 per week—for life. The insurance company appealed the arbitrator’s decision to the Commission, where it was affirmed in its entirety.
Black & Jones Attorneys at Law congratulates attorney Jason Esmond on his win and congratulates this client for a well-deserved award. Let our experienced workers’ compensation lawyers in Rockford, IL fight to get you the benefits you deserve. Call Black & Jones today at 815.967.9000 to schedule your free consultation, or simply fill out this form. You may be entitled to compensation for your injury—even if it’s from work-related repetitive motions!