Court Procedures During COVID-19

In-person court appearances continue to largely remain on hold for the foreseeable future. Nevertheless, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC) and the circuit courts have adapted to nearly exclusive video court appearances to keep cases moving forward. Due to the rising cases of COVID-19, all in-person trials at the IWCC have been suspended except in certain limited cases of emergency through December 31, 2020. In-person hearings were previously able to commence at the IWCC after a mandatory pre-trial conference before the arbitrator. Trials in Cook County circuit courts have been deferred until 2021. Additionally, all matters are to be held over videoconference except in “extraordinary or compelling circumstances.” However, Anesi Ozmon attorneys continue to participate in depositions, mediations and pre-trial conferences to keep cases on track for resolution. While Cook County trials are suspended, some downstate and collar counties are still proceeding with in-person trials. The Illinois Supreme Court recently issued orders allowing jury selection to be done remotely, as jury pools have been reduced due to health and economic impacts of the pandemic. Anesi Ozmon will continue to adapt to the changing procedures during this unprecedented time, as we remain steadfast in our commitment to zealously advocate for the rights of our clients...

Liability Beyond Employers in Workers’ Compensation

Additional liability and recovery may exist against other companies in cases first thought to be only a workers’ compensation claim against the employer. In these instances, the party responsible for the injury is not solely the employer. It is important not to overlook the possible pursuit of a personal injury claim against a third party in conjunction with the workers’ compensation claim. The workers’ compensation claim against the employer is not the only pathway to recovery when another party has been negligent. Crossover, or third-party claims, exist when industrial equipment is defective, which can lead to a product liability case against a manufacturer. These cases arise from defective warehouse vehicles, warehouse storage shelving unities, forklifts, scaffolding, scissor lifts and an array of industrial tools and machines. Another common area of crossover comes from an injury sustained at a multi-employer work site. The situation usually arises when employers from different trades are working at the same site. If an injury results from the negligence of a worker from a different employer, a personal injury claim be pursued against that worker’s employer at the same time as a workers’ compensation claim against the injured worker’s employer. Anesi Ozmon has for more than 65 years represented...

First Responders’ Rights if Exposed to COVID-19

By David Figlioli
In my nearly 30 years of practice, I have had the privilege of representing several hundred first responders, police officers and firefighters who suffered injuries while serving and protecting the citizens of their communities.  These front-line heroes never hesitated to answer a call for help or to protect a person’s property and in doing so, frequently sustained an injury.  Some of these injuries were so serious that the first responder was unable to continue working in his or her chosen profession.  The compensation these injured first responders received under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, the Public Employees Disability Act and under the various Pension Codes, in small part, compensated them for their sacrifices. This year, for the first time, these courageous first responders faced a new risk – the COVID-19 virus.  This virus that has spread so relentlessly through most every community, offered no quarter to the police officers and firefighters who continued to perform their job duties, serving their communities.  I, and several of the attorneys here at Anesi Ozmon, have received numerous calls from first responders who have contracted this virus and are subsequently quarantined and recovering from this disease.  To our surprise and dismay, many...
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Anesi, Ozmon, Rodin, Novak & Kohen Ltd.