There’s a hack IME doctor who says that you can only get carpal tunnel if you are constantly using force and working fast with your hands. He’s been over ruled time and time again. A recent Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission trial decision showed why this insurance company strategy is usually a loser.
In general, no matter how you were hurt at work, an insurance company will fight you case if they can find a reason. If you are claiming a repetitive stress injury, meaning that doing the same work over and over caused your problem, it will always be looked at skeptically by the insurance company. That is true because it’s not as clear cut as if you feel a pop in your back while lifting a box or slip on a wet floor and twist your knee. It’s also true because some repetitive trauma injuries are also acts of daily living like typing or in the case of carpal tunnel have been associated with obesity and diabetes.
So the insurance company will fight you, even if they know they will likely lose. This new case though drops the hammer on a lot of their strategies.
In this case, a school cafeteria worker said that one day at work, after serving around 80 students, here hands, wrists and thumbs were hurting. She had been doing this work for 15 years, six hours a day, Monday to Friday. She also did prep work for 750 students. After lunch she washed pans with a steel wool pad and wash cloth. She was diagnosed with bilateral extensor tenosynovitis and carpal tunnel syndrome.
The insurance company was a hired gun who said it wasn’t compensable because he didn’t feel that the job was continuous, hard and fast enough like an assembly line. The Work Comp Commission shot this down and made clear what the law is. They said that all she has to do is prove that her work was a causative factor in her injury. Not the only factor, not the major factor, just part of the equation.
She credibily testified that her symptoms got worse as the day and week went on with the only relief being when she wasn’t doing the job.
There is no requirement that your job duties be hard, fast and continuous. This is the farce they want you to believe. Don’t let them.
I get that this can be confusing so if you want a FREE consultation or need any help with a case, call us at (312) 346-5578 any time. We cover all of Illinois.