Bus maintenance worker falls and injures lower back, right arm and left leg
ILLINOIS WORKERS' COMPENSATION COMMISSION
NOTICE OF 19(b) ARBITRATOR DECISION
SPINDEL, SONYA Case# 1.3WCQ278È5
CHICAGO TRANSIT AUTHORITY
On 12/7/2015, an arbitration decision on this case was filed with the Illinois Workers‘ Compensation Commission in
Chicago, a copy of whîch is enclosed.
If the Commission rcviews this award, înterest of 0.41% shall accrue from the date lìsted above to the day before the
date of payment; however, if an employee’s appeal results in cìther no change or a decrease in this award, interest shall
. not accrue.
A copy of this decision is mailed to the following parties:
1067 ANKIN lAW OFFICE LLC
SCOTT G GOLDsTElN
162 W GRAND AVE SUITE 1810
CHICAGO. IL 60654
0515 CHICAGO TRANSIT AUTHORITY
587 W LAKE 3T GTH FL
CHICAGO, IL 60661
STATE 0F ILLINOIS )
E] Injured Workers’ Beneﬁt Fund (5431))
ìss- E] Rate Adjustment Fund (gs(g))
COUNTY 0F COOK ) C] Seeond Injury Fund (58(e)18)
None of the above
ILLINOIS WORKERS’ COMPENSATION COMJVIISSION
Sonya Spindel Case # L; WC 27855
v. Consolidated cases:
Chicago Transit Authoritx
An Applicatlonfor Adjustment 0fClaim was ﬁled in this matter, and a Notice ofHeaﬁng was maìled to each
party. The matter was heard by the Honorable Christine Ory, Arbitrator of the Commission, in the city
Chicago, on October B, 2015. Aﬁer reviewing al] of the evidence presented, the Arbitrator hereby makes
ﬁndings on the disputed issues checked below, and attaches those ﬁndings to this document.
. E] Was there an employee-employer relationship?
. I: Did an accident occur that arose out of and in the course ofPetitionefs employment by Respondent?
. E] What was the date ofthe accident?
D Was timely notice of the accident given to Respondent?
X Is Petîtionefs current condition of iII-being causally related to the injury?
. D What were Petitioner's eamings?
. D What was Petitioneﬁs age at the time of the accident?
. E] What was Petiti0ner's marital status at the time of the accident?
J. X Were the medical services that were provided to Petitioner reasonable and necessary? Has Respondent
paid all appropriate eharges for all reasonàble and necessary medical services?
K. X Is Petitîoner entitled to any prospective medical care?
L. X What temporary beneﬁts are in dispute?
TPD Maintenance X ‘ITD
M. Should penalties or fees be imposed upon Respondent?
N. [j Is Respondent due any credit?
o. D Other
lCArbDac/ Wb) 2/I0 /00 W. Randa/ Mimmo! 138-200 Chicago. IL 60601 3/2/814-661/ Tal/ free 866/3524033 Web site: wwnaiwcailgov
Dawnslale radica: Col/ Imvllla 6/8/346-
3450 Pearla 309/6714019 Roc/ dòrd 815/9874292 Sprlng/ ield 217/7854084
On this date, un employee-employer relationshîp dîd exist between Petitioner and Respondent.
On this date, Petitioner did sustain an accident that arose out of and in the course of employment.
Timely notice of this accident was given to Respondent.
Petitìoner's current condition ofiIl-being is causally related to the accident.
In the year preceding the injury, Petitioner eamed S19,670.00; the average weekly wage was 8380.00. .
On the date of accident, Petitioner was 43 years of age, single with 0 dependent children.
Respondent has not paìd all reasonable and necessary charges for all reasonable and necessary medical
Respondent shall be given a credit of S27,866.30 for TTD, S0 for TPD, S0 for maintenance, and S0 for other
beneﬁts, for a total credit ofS27,866.30.
Respondent is entitled to a credit OfSO under Section 8(j) of the Act.
Temporary Partial Disabilizy
Respondent shall pay Petitioner temporary partial disability beneﬁts 01325333 per week for 68 weeks,
commencing 09/03/2013 through 03116/2014 and 12/29/2014 through 10/06/2015 as provided in Section 8(a)
Respondent shall pay reasonable and necessary medical services of S4,975.00, as in accordance with in Sections
8(a) and 8.2 of the Act.
Respondent shall pay the reasonable and necessary costs related to the revision spinal surgery at L5—S1 as
prescribed by Dr. Singh in accordance with 58.2 of the Act.
RULES REGARDING Ananas Unless a party ﬁles a Petitionjbr Review withìn 30 days aﬁer receìpt of this decision,
and perfects a review in accordance with the Act and Rules, then this decision shall be entered as the decision of
1 21041201 5
Signature ofArbitmtor Date
D53 7 — zms.
13 WC 27855 Spindel v. CTA
BEFORE THE ILLINOIS WORKERS’ COMPENSATION COMMISSION
vs. No. 13 WC 27855
Chicago Transit Authority,
/ J-/ %3JJììì
She retumed to Dr. Mehta on September 3, 2013. She reported the physìcal therapy had
helped the neck and shoulder pain. However, petitioner had increased complaints ofpain in her
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13 WC 27855 Spindel v. CT A
lower back along with numbness, tingling, and radiating pain into her right toes, as well as loss
ofbalance. Dr. Mehta ordered an MRI, continued therapy and ordered her otîwork (PX.3).
The MRI obtained on September 5, 2013 showed a hemiated disc that measured
approxîmately 3-4 mm at the L4-L5 level, and a hemiated disc with extruded nuceleus pulpous
L5-S1 that measured 5-6 mm (PX.3).
On September 13, 2013 Dr. Mehta ordered right L4-L5, L5-S1 transforaminal epidural
injeetions. Petitioner testiﬁed her symptoms retumed within one week of the injectîons. On
October l, 2013 petitioner retumed to Dr. Mehta, who referred her to Dr. Singh for a surgical
consult. On October 15, 2013 petitioner retumed to Dr. Mehta afcer seeing Dr. Singh for the
surgical consult (PX.3).
Dr. Mehta performed the injections. On November 5, 2013, petitioner reported to Dr.
Mehta that she had minimal relief ftom the two injections. Dr. Mehta recommended petitiorier
continue with physical therapy and referred her back to Dr. Singh for the surgical consult (PX.2).
On November 11, 2013 petitioner retumed to Dr. Singh and reported little relief from the
steroid injectîons. surgery was, therefore, scheduled (PX.2).
Dr. Singh performed a laminectomy and ﬁision with cage instrumentation and bone graiì
at the L4-5 level on December 3, 2013 (PX.2). Petitioner testified she awoke from the surgery
with no feeling in her right leg.
the ER. Physical therapy was initiated. Pain medication was prescribed.
Petitioner testiﬁed her symptoms in her back improved, but she had no feeling in her
right leg and also had tingling and numbness which caused her to lose her balance and fall.
On January 27, 2014 petitioner retumed to Dr. Singh with similar ongoing complaints.
Physical therapy and medication were prescribed. Dr. Singh released her to retum to work with
restrictions of ten-pound lifting and pushing restrictions and minimal bending and stooping.
Physical therapy and pain medication were continued (PX.2).
On April 28, 2014, petitioner retumed to Dr. Singh with similar complaints. Dr. Singh
ordered an FCE followed by two to four weeks ofwork conditioning. On lune 6, 2014 petitioner
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13 WC 27855 Spindel v. CTA
retumed to Dr. Singh. She had oompleted an FCE and work conditioning. Dr. Singh released
petitioner to retum to light work rather than sedentary as indicated by the FCE due to petitioner’s
inconsistency in the FCE which were attributable to petitioner’s limitations secondary to pain.
Dr. Singh also declared petitioner at MMI and released her ﬁrom his care (PX.2).
On September 4, 2014, petitioner reported she was in s0 much pain she went to the ER at
Northwestem. On September 15, 2014 she retumed to Dr. Singh who ordered a CT scan. She
retumed to Dr. Singh on September 22, 2014 after obtaining a CT scan. Dr. Singh noted the CT
scan showed a solid fusion and released her to retum to work with the same restrictions. He
again determined she was at MMI (PX.2)
On December 8, 2014 petitioner retumed to Dr. Singh having again being seen at
Northwestem ER due to acute back and leg pain. Dr. Singh ordered a MRI and said petitioner
now was not at MMI (PX.2).
On December 29, 2014 petitioner retumed to Dr. Singh after obtaining an MRI. Dr.
Singh indicated the MRI showed a right-sided L5-S1 facet arthropathy with spinal stenosis and
recommended a L5-S1 revision laminectomy and ordered her completely off work (PX.2).
On January 21, 2014, Dr. Mehta released petitioner to Dr. Singh's care. Dr. Mehta
conﬁnned petitioneﬂs ongoing problerns were related to her work injury (RX.3).
Petitioner followed up with Dr. Singh on April 13, 2015, Iune 3, 2015 and July 20, 2015.
Bach time, Dr. Singh’s ﬁndings and recommendations for a L5—S1 laminectomy remained the
same. Dr. Singh also determined petitionefs ongoing symptomology was related to the work
Respondent had petitioner examined by Dr. Wellington ‘Hsu on February 25, 2015
pursuant to 912. Dr. Hsu reviewed the MRI report of September 5, 2013. According to Dr. Hsu
the report indicated there was evidence of an L5-S1 subligamentous posterior disc herniation and
L4—L5 posterior disc hemiation as well. Dr. Hsu stated petitioner had an aggravation lumbar
spondylosis from her work accident. He believed the treatment to date was appropriate (RX. 1).
Dr. Hsu concluded petitionefs current symptoms were secondary to the preexisting
lumbar spondylosis which were in no way were related to the work accident. He stated, however,
petitioner’s aggravation of preexisting lumbar spondylosis at L4-L5 was ﬁom the work accident
Dr. Hsu concluded petitioner could return to work full duty based upon an FCE which
indicated petitioner had given a variable effort. Based upon this statement by the therapist, Dr.
Hsu concluded the F CE was invalid (RX. l).
Petitioner testiﬁed her back symptoms gradually improved but the pain down her right
leg continued. She is not able to sit or stand for more than 10 to 15 minutes ata time. The pain
medication did little to help the symptoms, but did help her sleep.
13 WC 27855 Spindel v. CTA
condition o! ili-being is causally related to the injury, the Arbitrator makes the following
conclusions of law:
both the 14-5 and L5-S1 level. In fact, the earlier MRI indicated the herniated disc at the L5-S1
level was larger than the L4—L5.
For these reasons, the Arbitrator ﬁnds petitionefs condition of ili-being ofher lower back
and leg, for which Dr. Singh has prescribed revision surgery for the L5-S1 disc, was caused by
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13 WC 27855 Spindel v. CTA
of cold packs, followed by heat packs may be more effective than acetarninophen and ibuprofen
for treatment to the lower back. Furthermore, the yet to be published study showed compressive
cryotherapy after ACL reconstruction have better pain relief and less dependence on narcotic use
than cryotherpay alone.
In support of the Arbitrator’s decîsion with regard to TTD, the Arbitrator makes
the following conclusione of law: ’
13 WC 27855 Spindel V. CT A
2014 and left claiming she could not do the work. There is no indication in the record that the
restricted work petitioner was doing ﬁom Match 17, 2014 to April 3, 2014 exceeded Dr. Singh’s
work restrictions. Dr. Singh’s work restrictions remained the same until December 29, 2014, at
which time Dr. Singh took petitioner completely off work. She has not been released to return to
work since December 29, 2014.
Accordingly, the Arbitrator ﬁnds petitioner is entitled to 'I"l‘D ﬁom September 3, 2013
through Match 16, 2014 and ﬁrom December 29, 2014 through the date ofhearing of October 6,
2015. This is 68 weeks.
Page 6 of 6