Posted On: April 7, 2009 by Steven J. Malman

Illinois Appellate Court Upholds Electrician’s Repetitive Trauma Claim Even Though He Had Varied Work Responsibilities

An Illinois worker is allowed to make a workers' compensation claim for repetitive trauma even if he had varied work duties. The Illinois Appellate Court made the decision to uphold the award for the claimant, an electrician who injured his upper extremities while on the job.

Because of the worker's hand intensive, repetitive work, the claimant sustained cubital tunnel, bilateral carpal tunnel, and pronator syndrome. He sought to receive past and future medical benefits by filing an adjustment to his claim.

During testimony, he explained how he had to work with a number of tools and that he used vibratory tools for at least five hours of his work day. His doctors said he sustained his injuries because of engaging in this repetitive work. Meantime, the claimant’s employer had argued that since the electrician performed so many tasks and not just one task, repetitive trauma was not warranted.

The Illinois Appellate Court, however, determined that there was enough evidence to support the electrician’s claim that he got hurt from doing his job. The court refused to reverse an award for proposed medical treatment that his doctor said was needed to help alleviate the repetitive trauma symptoms.

Cubital Tunnel Syndrome: Can be caused by frequently bending the elbow to lift, reach, or pull. Regular, direct pressure on the elbow can also lead to this condition. Irritation can occur while operating machinery or leaning on the elbow.

Pronator Syndrome: Can easily be mistaken for carpal tunnel syndrome. Can occur when the median nerve next to the forearm muscles get compressed. Can cause tingling and numbness. Condition may grow worse due to forceful twisting and gripping.

Bilateral Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: Involves carpal tunnel syndrome in both wrists.

Varied work duties fail to short circuit electrician's repetitive trauma claim, Risk & Insurance, February 11, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, AFSCME

Pronator Syndrome,

Contact Chicago Workers' Compensation Attorney Steve Malman for a free case evaluation.

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