Workers' Compensation Bulletin...
Shoulder Injuries No Longer a Scheduled Loss of Use of Arm
After thousands of Commission decisions have decided to the contrary, the Appellate Court has now pronounced that a “shoulder” is not within the statutory meaning of a scheduled loss of use of the arm under 820 ILCS 305/8(e)(10).
In the case of Will County Forest Preserve v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Comm’n, decided on February 17, 2012, the Court stated that the issue of defining a shoulder injury as a loss of use of the arm had never been addressed, and was a matter of statutory interpretation.
The Court, relying upon the definition of an arm from the Stedman’s Medical Dictionary and Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, found that the shoulder is specifically excluded from the statutory scheduled loss. Since the shoulder is excluded under 820 ILCS 305/8(e)(10), whole body impairment is applicable. In so finding, the employee in Will County Forest Preserve was awarded 25% whole body impairment (equivalent to approximately 49.4% loss of use of the arm) as a result of a right rotator cuff repair with a subacromial decompression and acromioplasty, even though he was returned to work without restrictions.
For more information contact Rich Berman at 812-987-8948; John Shepherd at 815-987-8956 or Carol Hartline at 815-987-8957