Case Results: Work Injuries And Workers’ Comp
Case Name: Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission Case No. 09 WC 48370
Facts: Our client was working as a roofer and was injured at work while pulling siding.
Client’s Injuries: Significant back and leg pain; herniations which required surgery; disc generation at both L4-5 and L5-S1 with a small to moderate herniated disc at L4-5 associated with some lateral recess stenosis bilaterally.
Case Name: Dorina Pybas v. Johne E. Harris and Overhead Garage Door, Inc. Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois Case No.: 99 L 14623
Facts: Dorina Pybas was traveling Eastbound on Virginia Street at Crystal Court, in Crystal Lake, Illinois, when John Harris, who was traveling westbound on Virginia Street, made a sudden left turn in front of Dorina Pybas, causing her to lose control of her vehicle in an attempt to avoid hitting the Harris vehicle. Thereafter, she struck a vehicle being operated by a Robert Bartel, who had been traveling immediately behind Mr. Harris.
Client’s Injuries: Torn annulus resulting in herniated disks at C5/C6 and C6/C7; cervical sprain/strain; multiple blunt trauma; radiculopathy; cervical bulging disk at C5/C6; cervical arthritis; cervicalgia; myofascial component, fibromyalgia type, secondary to whiplash injury; occipital nerve pain, bilaterally contributing to headaches; and paravertebritis at T2. The client underwent a spinal discectomy and fusion.
Case Results: Legal Malpractice, Products Liability and Worker’s Compensation
Facts: Our client, an employee at a Chicago area food processing company, suffered catastrophic injuries while cleaning a machine he was using at the plant.
Injuries: Traumatic amputation of our client’s right hand involving complete separation of all bones, muscles, tendons, nerves and arteries below the fingers and thumb but above the wrist with multiple attempted but unsuccessful reattachment surgeries and resulting development of right shoulder stiffness, impingement syndrome and adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder syndrome), surgically repaired with a right shoulder arthroscopy and selective capsular release but with permanent restrictions for movement and use of the shoulder.
Our clients initially retained a personal injury law firm located in the Chicago area to handle their workers compensation, personal injury and loss of consortium claims, shortly after the injury. The prior law firm then filed a case against two component part manufacturers under products liability and additional theories, having filed that case within days before the statute of limitations would have expired. After they litigated the case, a breakdown in the attorney-client relationship took place between that law firm and our clients. At that point, our clients retained Mark L. Karno & Associates, LLC to take over prosecution of their case. Mark L. Karno & Associates, LLC thereafter negotiated the waiver of repayment of the $665,946.05 worker’s compensation lien, but both component part manufacturer defendants sued by the initial Chicago law firm were dismissed with prejudice due to their only being component part manufacturers. They failed to name the assembler whom we alleged was the manufacturer. That party could have been easily identified had the prior law firm filed the case early enough and conducted very basic discovery. Mark L. Karno & Associates, LLC then sued the prior lawyers for their legal malpractice in failing to investigate the clients’ claims; their failure to name proper defendants and their failure to file the case in a timely manner. Mark L. Karno & Associates, LLC obtained a settlement of $525,000.00 allocated $425,000.00 for our client’s personal injury claim and $100,000.00 for his wife’s loss of consortium claim within days before the trial was set to begin. This was “fresh money” on top of the value of the waived $665,946.05 Workers Compensation lien.
Case Name: Richard LaBarbera v. Grane Leasing d/b/a Drivers & Dock Services Workers’ Compensation Commission Case Number: 05 WC 44945
Facts: Petitioner was injured in a rollover truck accident.
Client’s Injuries: Herniated/ruptured disks in the cervical and lumbar region with a prescription for lumbar fusion surgery; lacerations to left arm. Noteworthy: Respondent denied causal connection between accident and injuries relying upon respondent’s evaluating physician and an alleged gap in treatment. After a hearing pursuant to section 19(b) of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, the respondent was ordered to pay several thousands of dollars in owed time-off pay and medical expenses, and was specifically ordered to authorize surgery prescribed by the petitioner’s orthopedic surgeon. In addition, respondent was also ordered to pay over $36,000 in penalties because of its unreasonableness in handling the claim. The respondent and petitioner decided to settle the case shortly after the award.
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