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United Airlines (UAL) employees are talking and social media chat rooms are buzzing about the potential change in workers’ compensation administrators. For about 20 years Gallagher Bassett has been administrating the claims for benefits due to occupational injuries also known as “occupationals”, “OJI” or workers’ compensation injuries. Typically, an administrator provides claims adjustment services that include the investigation and processing of injury claims and payment of weekly workers’ compensation income benefits known as temporary total disability (TTD) and authorization for medical procedures and payment of medical bills. The administrator may also, at times, negotiate settlements after the injured worker has been released from doctor’s care.

There does not appear to have been a formal notice or press release confirming that United Airlines is replacing Gallagher Bassett. There has been speculation that this may occur October 1, 2017 and that the new claims administrator will be Sedgwick Claims Management Services.

Helpful Advice for the Injured Worker

Philip A. Bareck recently had his Industrial Commission Decision Ludwig v. Caterpillar, which awarded significant medical and disability benefits following a chemical exposure (which Caterpillar disputed), published in the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Law Bulletin, volume 22, issue 5 – April 30, 2014

Philip Bareck received two recent decisions. In a Mitsubishi case, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission significantly increased the award and included benefits for the disputed knee replacement including future medical treatment. In a Caterpillar case, the arbitrator awarded three times more than Caterpillar’s final settlement offer, which was seven times higher than Caterpillar’s impairment rating – this is one of the first post-September 1, 2011 decisions pertaining to a knee surgery under the new statute.

 

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Katz Friedman recently won three important cases before the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. These cases involved injuries which took place after the changes to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act in 2011, specifically the provisions changing the definition of permanent partial disability and the inclusion of American Medical Association Impairment Ratings. In all three cases against Caterpillar, our firm was able to obtain awards from the judge well in excess of the settlement offers and ensuring the workers would have lifetime medical benefits for their injuries.

Attorney Frank J. Bertuca (left) recently won a landmark case in front of the IL Appellate Court for our union baggage handler who was employed at United Airlines. The Illinois Appellate Court unanimously reversed the circuit court and ruled that our client was entitled to a weekly differential check as a result of his work accident.  The case summary was published in the July 17, 2013 edition of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Law Bulletin.  United Airlines Inc. v. (Young), Ill. App. Ct., 1st  2013.”

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Philip Bareck received two recent decisions – In a Mitsubishi case, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission significantly increased the award and included benefits for the disputed knee replacement including future medical treatment; In a Caterpillar case, the Arbitrator awarded three times more than Caterpillar’s final settlement offer, which was seven times higher than Caterpillar’s impairment rating – this is one of the first post-September 1, 2011 decisions pertaining to a knee surgery under the new statute.

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