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ILLINOIS WORKERS’ COMPENSATION COMMISSION
DECISION SIGNATURE PAGE
Case Number 22WC003078
Case Name v.
Mainfreight, Inc.
Consolidated Cases
Proceeding Type Petition for Review under 19(b)
Remand Arbitration
Decision Type Commission Decision
Commission Decision Number 24IWCC0017
Number of Pages of Decision 10
Decision Issued By Commissioner
Petitioner Attorney Scott Goldstein
Respondent Attorney
DATE FILED: 1/17/2024
Signature
22 WC 03078
Page 1
STATE OF ILLINOIS ) Affirm and adopt (no changes) Injured Workers’ Benefit Fund (§4(d))
) SS. Affirm with changes Rate Adjustment Fund (§8(g))
COUNTY OF KANKAKEE ) Reverse Second Injury Fund (§8(e)18)
PTD/Fatal denied
Modify None of the above
BEFORE THE ILLINOIS WORKERS’ COMPENSATION COMMISSION
,
Petitioner,
vs. NO: 22 WC 03078
MAINFREIGHT, INC.,
Respondent.
DECISION AND OPINION ON REVIEW
Timely Petition for Review under §19(b) having been filed by the Respondent herein
and notice given to all parties, the Commission, after considering the issues of causation, medical
expenses and prospective medical treatment and being advised of the facts and law, affirms and
adopts the Decision of the Arbitrator, which is attached hereto and made a part hereof, but makes
a clarification as outlined below. The Commission further remands this case to the Arbitrator for
further proceedings for a determination of a further amount of temporary total compensation or
of compensation for permanent disability, if any, pursuant to Thomas v. Industrial Commission,
78 Ill.2d 327, 399 N.E.2d 1322, 35 Ill.Dec. 794 (1980).
The Commission affirms the Decision of the Arbitrator, however strikes the last sentence
of the first paragraph under Section “F” on page 5 of the Decision which states: “Dr. G did
not consider the evidence of Petitioner’s general state of good health before the accident or the
fact that her complaints thereafter are consistent and well-documented.” The Commission
replaces that sentence with the following sentence: “Dr. G did not consider the fact that
Petitioner’s complaints were consistent and well-documented.”
All else is affirmed and adopted.
24IWCC0017
22 WC 03078
Page 2
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED BY THE COMMISSION that the Decision of the
Arbitrator filed February 17, 2023 is hereby affirmed and adopted.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED BY THE COMMISSION that this case be remanded to the
Arbitrator for further proceedings consistent with this Decision, but only after the latter of
expiration of the time for filing a written request for Summons to the Circuit Court has expired
without the filing of such a written request, or after the time of completion of any judicial
proceedings, if such a written request has been filed.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED BY THE COMMISSION that Respondent pay to Petitioner
interest under §19(n) of the Act, if any.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED BY THE COMMISSION that Respondent shall have credit
for all amounts paid, if any, to or on behalf of Petitioner on account of said accidental injury.
Bond for the removal of this cause to the Circuit Court by Respondent is hereby fixed at
the sum of $32,889.00 The party commencing the proceedings for review in the Circuit Court
shall file with the Commission a Notice of Intent to File for Review in Circuit Court.
January 17, 2024 /s/
MEP/dmm
/s/
O: 121223
49
/s
24IWCC0017
ILLINOIS WORKERS’ COMPENSATION COMMISSION
DECISION SIGNATURE PAGE
Case Number 22WC003078
Case Name v. Mainfreight, Inc.
Consolidated Cases
Proceeding Type 19(b) Petition
Decision Type Arbitration Decision
Commission Decision Number
Number of Pages of Decision 7
Decision Issued By , Arbitrator
Petitioner Attorney Scott Goldstein
Respondent Attorney
DATE FILED: 2/17/2023
THE INTEREST RATE FOR THE WEEK OF FEBRUARY 15, 2023 4.84%
Signature
24IWCC0017
STATE OF ILLINOIS )
Injured Workers’ Benefit Fund (§4(d))
)SS. Rate Adjustment Fund (§8(g))
COUNTY OF Kankakee ) Second Injury Fund (§8(e)18)
None of the above
ILLINOIS WORKERS’ COMPENSATION COMMISSION
ARBITRATION DECISION
19(b)
Case # WC
Emp oyee Pet t oner
v. Consolidated cases:
Mainfreight, Inc.
Employer/Respondent
An Application for Adjustment of Claim was filed in this matter and a Notice of Hearing was mailed to each
party. The matter was heard by the Honorable , Arbitrator of the Commission, in the city of
Kankakee, on 12/20/22. After reviewing all of the evidence presented, the Arbitrator hereby makes findings
on the disputed issues checked below, and attaches those findings to this document.
DISPUTED ISSUES
A. Was Respondent operating under and subject to the Illinois Workers' Compensation or Occupational
Diseases Act?
B. Was there an employee-employer relationship?
C. Did an accident occur that arose out of and in the course of Petitioner's employment by Respondent?
D. What was the date of the accident?
E. Was timely notice of the accident given to Respondent?
F. Is Petitioner's current condition of ill-being causally related to the injury?
G. What were Petitioner's earnings?
H. What was Petitioner's age at the time of the accident?
I. What was Petitioner's marital status at the time of the accident?
J. Were the medical services that were provided to Petitioner reasonable and necessary? Has Respondent
paid all appropriate charges for all reasonable and necessary medical services?
K. Is Petitioner entitled to any prospective medical care?
L. What temporary benefits are in dispute?
TPD Maintenance TTD
M. Should penalties or fees be imposed upon Respondent?
N. Is Respondent due any credit?
O. Other
ICArbDec19(b) 4/22 Web site: www.iwcc.il.gov
FINDINGS
On the date of accident, 1/24/22, Respondent was operating under and subject to the provisions of the Act.
On this date, an employee-employer relationship did exist between Petitioner and Respondent.
24IWCC0017
v. ., 22 WC 03
2
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.
Petitioner's current condition of ill-being is causally related to the accident.
In the year preceding the injury, Petitioner earned $44,720.00; the average weekly wage was $860.00.
On the date of accident, Petitioner was 32 years of age, single with 0 dependent children.
Respondent has not paid all reasonable and necessary charges for all reasonable and necessary medical
services.
Respondent shall be given a credit of $15,378.02 for TTD, $0 for TPD, $0 for maintenance, and $23,048.02
for past medical payments not to be credited against outstanding medical bills.
Respondent is entitled to a credit of $0 under Section 8(j) of the Act.
ORDER
Medical benefits
Respondent shall pay reasonable and necessary medical services of $44,186.20, contained in Petitioner’s
Exhibit 1, pursuant to the medical fee schedule, as provided in Sections 8(a) and 8.2 of the Act.
Temporary Total Disability
Respondent shall pay Petitioner temporary total disability benefits of $573.33/week for 47 1/7 weeks,
commencing 1/25/22 through 12/20/22, as provided in Section 8(b) of the Act.
Respondent shall be given a credit of $15,378.02 for temporary total disability benefits that have been paid
Average Weekly Wage
Petitioner’s Average Weekly Wage (AWW) is $860.00 per week.
Prospective Medical Care
Petitioner is entitled to pros ective medical treatment pursuant to Section 8(a) of the Act including continued
neurological care with Dr. and continued pain management services with Dr. L and physical
therapy.
RULES REGARDING APPEALS Unless a party files a Petition for Review within 30 days after receipt of this decision, and perfects a
review in accordance with the Act and Rules, then this decision shall be entered as the decision of the Commission.
STATEMENT OF INTEREST RATE If the Commission reviews this award, interest at the rate set forth on the Notice of Decision of
Arbitrator shall accrue from the date listed below to the day before the date of payment; however, if an employee's appeal results in
either no change or a decrease in this award, interest shall not accrue.
________________________________ FEBRUARY 17, 2023
Signature of Arbitrator
ICArbDec19(b)
4IWCC0017
WC 03078
3
ADDENDUM TO THE DECISION OF THE ARBITRATOR
On January 24, 2022, Petitioner was working for Respondent, operating a forklift to unload freight
from a semi-truck, when the semi-truck unexpectedly pulled away from the dock, causing Petitioner’s
forklift to fall and crash about 6 feet to the ground. (Tr. 9). Petitioner was wearing a seat belt that
secured only her lower body to the forklift. (Id., at 9). Immediately following the accident, Petitioner
felt dizzy, anxious, and nauseous. (Id., at 9). Petitioner went home after the accident. (Id., at 11).
On January 26, 2022, Petitioner reported her accident to Respondent who sent her to Physicians
Immediate Care that day. Petitioner presented to Physician’s Immediate Care with a history of
accident consistent with her testimony. (Px. 2). Her complaints of midline and lateral neck pain, mild
headaches, nausea, and dizziness were noted. (Id.). On exam, midline tenderness in the cervical
spine, bilateral tenderness along the STM muscles, and reduced range of neck motion was noted.
Petitioner was diagnosed with a concussion without loss of consciousness and a cervical sprain.
Sedentary work restrictions were noted. (Id.).
On January 28, 2022, Petitioner presented to Illinois Orthopedic Network where Dr. E , a
pain management physician, noted a history of neck, head, and right shoulder complaints. Petitioner
reportedly experienced dizziness on a daily basis as well as nausea, and daily headaches since her
accident. (Id.). Dr. diagnosed a concussion, cervicalgia, and back pain (Id.).
On March 3, 2022, Petitioner followed up with Dr. who noted that her complaints were largely
unchanged. (Id.).
On March 17, 2022, Petitioner underwent a cervical MRI that identified a 2.4 mm central and left
paracentral disc bulge causing some mild effacement of the thecal sac along with mild, left-sided,
neural foraminal stenosis at C6-C7 along with a 2.2 mm central disc bulge causing mild effacement of
the thecal sac at C5-C6. (Id.).
On March 28, 2022, Dr. noted Petitioner’s complaints of persistent headaches, neck pain, and
right shoulder pain (Id.). He recommended an occipital nerve injection at C3-5 on her right side for
her symptoms. Dr. also referred Petitioner for a neurological consultation. (Id.).
On September 7, 2022, Petitioner underwent cervical medial branch injections at C3-C6 administered
by Dr. (Id.). Petitioner reported short-term pain relief from the injections at her follow-up with
Dr. at which time the doctor recommended radiofrequency ablation for Petitioner’s cervical
spine which she underwent on October 18, 2022. (Id.).
On April 20, 2022, Petitioner presented for a neurological consult with, Dr. O at
Associated Medical Centers of Illinois, pursuant to Dr. ’s referral. (Px. 3). Dr. noted the
32-year-old Petitioner reported a history dizziness, weakness, memory impairment, lack of
concentration, nausea, and headaches every day, up to a 10/10 in intensity, accompanied by light and
24IWCC0017
, 22 WC 03078
4
sound sensitivity (Id.). Petitioner also reported frequent fatigue, mood changes, and difficulty falling
and staying asleep. Petitioner reportedly was healthy before the accident. Dr. diagnosed
Petitioner with a mild Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) which, the doctor noted, is a clinical diagnosis
based on positive symptoms in all 4 domains (physical, cognitive, emotional, and sleep). Dr.
recommended an MRI of Petitioner’s brain, prescribed medications, and took Petitioner off of work.
(Id.).
On May 17, 2022, Petitioner presented to Dr. , an orthopedic specialist, pursuant to
Respondent’s Section 12 request. (Rx. 2). Dr. noted Petitioner’s subjective complaints were
consistent with her exam findings. Based on her history, exam, radiographs, and medical record, the
doctor opined that Petitioner’s January 24, 2022 work injury aggravated her underlying cervical
spondylosis (Id.). Dr. opined that Petitioner was not at MMI. He recommended continued
treatment, including a stronger oral medication, like a Medrol Dosepak and possibly an occipital
nerve block and facet injections if the medication did not help with her symptoms. (Id.).
On June 14, 2022, Petitioner underwent an MRI of her brain that showed no significant abnormality.
(Px. 3).
On July 8, 2022, Petitioner presented to Dr. G , a neurologist, pursuant to Respondent’s
Section 12 request. (Rx. 1). Dr. G noted her neurological exam was normal. Regarding
Petitioner’s headaches, he noted that headache complaints are subjective and cannot be objectified on
a neurologic exam. Dr. G opined that Petitioner did not suffer a head injury noting that she did
not lose consciousness and there was no obvious head trauma, bruising, or bleeding on Petitioner’s
head. (Id.).
Respondent paid Petitioner TTD from January 25, 2022, through September 7, 2022. (Arb. 1).
Petitioner did not receive any documentation from Respondent indicating her TTD benefits would be
suspended or terminated. (Tr. at 23-24).
The records in evidence show that Petitioner last followed up with Dr. on November 16, 2022,
with complaints of persistent headaches, sleep disturbance, and memory impairment. The doctor has
maintained Petitioner’s off-work restrictions for her head injury. (Px. 3).
Regarding her current condition, Petitioner testified she has significant, persistent headaches, neck
pain, and right shoulder pain that she did not have before her January 24, 2022, work injury (Id., at
25-27). She is still treating with Dr. and Dr. for her injuries and wishes to continue.
(Id., at 31).
24IWCC0017
22 WC 03078
5
CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
(F) Causal Connection
Petitioner’s testimony in this case is unrebutted. Her consistent and persistent complaints are well
documented in the record. Her testimony regarding the general state of good health she enjoyed
before the accident is corroborated by the treating medical records in evidence. Her treating
physicians continue to restrict her from working. Dr. opined that there was a causal
relationship between the accident and her cervical condition, that Petitioner was not at MMI, and that
she required further treatment. Regarding Petitioner’s head injury, the Arbitrator places more weight
on the treating medical records, and opinions contained therein, than the opinions of Respondent’s
Section 12 examiner. Dr. G did not consider the evidence of Petitioner’s general state of good
health before the accident or the fact that her complaints thereafter are consistent and well-
documented.
The Arbitrator found Petitioner presented at the hearing as honest and sincere. The records in
evidence corroborate her testimony which is unrebutted. Accordingly, the Arbitrator places
significant weight on her testimony.
Based on a preponderance of the credible evidence contained in the record, the Arbitrator finds that
Petitioner has proven a causal connection exists between the accident and her current condition of ill-
being.
(G) Average Weekly Wage
Petitioner’s Average Weekly Wage (AWW) is $860.00 a week as documented by her hiring letter from
Respondent which indicates that Petitioner is a salaried worker at $44,270.00 a year which equates to
$860.00 a week (Px. 5).
(J) Medical Bills
Based on a preponderance of the credible evidence contained in the record, including the disputed
medical bills and the records associated with those bills, the Arbitrator finds that Petitioner’s
treatment to date, including doctor’s appointments, diagnostic testing, injections, ablations, physical
therapy, and pain medications, has been reasonable and necessary.
Respondent shall pay reasonable and necessary medical services of $44,186.20, contained in
Petitioner’s Exhibit 1, pursuant to the medical fee schedule, as provided in Sections 8(a) and 8.2 of the
Act.
(K) Prospective Medical Care
24IWCC0017
., 22 WC 03078
6
Based on the preponderance of credible evidence contained in the record, the Arbitrator finds that
Petitioner is entitled to prospective medical treatment by Dr. including continued pain
management services and physical therapy as well as continued neurological care with Dr. .
(L) TTD
Based on a preponderance of the credible evidence contained in the record, including the testimony of
IME Dr. , the Arbitrator finds the Petitioner is entitled to TTD from January 25, 2022, to
December 20, 2022, a period of 47 1/7 weeks.
24IWCC0017

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  • 1. ILLINOIS WORKERS’ COMPENSATION COMMISSION DECISION SIGNATURE PAGE Case Number 22WC003078 Case Name v. Mainfreight, Inc. Consolidated Cases Proceeding Type Petition for Review under 19(b) Remand Arbitration Decision Type Commission Decision Commission Decision Number 24IWCC0017 Number of Pages of Decision 10 Decision Issued By Commissioner Petitioner Attorney Scott Goldstein Respondent Attorney DATE FILED: 1/17/2024 Signature
  • 2. 22 WC 03078 Page 1 STATE OF ILLINOIS ) Affirm and adopt (no changes) Injured Workers’ Benefit Fund (§4(d)) ) SS. Affirm with changes Rate Adjustment Fund (§8(g)) COUNTY OF KANKAKEE ) Reverse Second Injury Fund (§8(e)18) PTD/Fatal denied Modify None of the above BEFORE THE ILLINOIS WORKERS’ COMPENSATION COMMISSION , Petitioner, vs. NO: 22 WC 03078 MAINFREIGHT, INC., Respondent. DECISION AND OPINION ON REVIEW Timely Petition for Review under §19(b) having been filed by the Respondent herein and notice given to all parties, the Commission, after considering the issues of causation, medical expenses and prospective medical treatment and being advised of the facts and law, affirms and adopts the Decision of the Arbitrator, which is attached hereto and made a part hereof, but makes a clarification as outlined below. The Commission further remands this case to the Arbitrator for further proceedings for a determination of a further amount of temporary total compensation or of compensation for permanent disability, if any, pursuant to Thomas v. Industrial Commission, 78 Ill.2d 327, 399 N.E.2d 1322, 35 Ill.Dec. 794 (1980). The Commission affirms the Decision of the Arbitrator, however strikes the last sentence of the first paragraph under Section “F” on page 5 of the Decision which states: “Dr. G did not consider the evidence of Petitioner’s general state of good health before the accident or the fact that her complaints thereafter are consistent and well-documented.” The Commission replaces that sentence with the following sentence: “Dr. G did not consider the fact that Petitioner’s complaints were consistent and well-documented.” All else is affirmed and adopted. 24IWCC0017
  • 3. 22 WC 03078 Page 2 IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED BY THE COMMISSION that the Decision of the Arbitrator filed February 17, 2023 is hereby affirmed and adopted. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED BY THE COMMISSION that this case be remanded to the Arbitrator for further proceedings consistent with this Decision, but only after the latter of expiration of the time for filing a written request for Summons to the Circuit Court has expired without the filing of such a written request, or after the time of completion of any judicial proceedings, if such a written request has been filed. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED BY THE COMMISSION that Respondent pay to Petitioner interest under §19(n) of the Act, if any. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED BY THE COMMISSION that Respondent shall have credit for all amounts paid, if any, to or on behalf of Petitioner on account of said accidental injury. Bond for the removal of this cause to the Circuit Court by Respondent is hereby fixed at the sum of $32,889.00 The party commencing the proceedings for review in the Circuit Court shall file with the Commission a Notice of Intent to File for Review in Circuit Court. January 17, 2024 /s/ MEP/dmm /s/ O: 121223 49 /s 24IWCC0017
  • 4. ILLINOIS WORKERS’ COMPENSATION COMMISSION DECISION SIGNATURE PAGE Case Number 22WC003078 Case Name v. Mainfreight, Inc. Consolidated Cases Proceeding Type 19(b) Petition Decision Type Arbitration Decision Commission Decision Number Number of Pages of Decision 7 Decision Issued By , Arbitrator Petitioner Attorney Scott Goldstein Respondent Attorney DATE FILED: 2/17/2023 THE INTEREST RATE FOR THE WEEK OF FEBRUARY 15, 2023 4.84% Signature 24IWCC0017
  • 5. STATE OF ILLINOIS ) Injured Workers’ Benefit Fund (§4(d)) )SS. Rate Adjustment Fund (§8(g)) COUNTY OF Kankakee ) Second Injury Fund (§8(e)18) None of the above ILLINOIS WORKERS’ COMPENSATION COMMISSION ARBITRATION DECISION 19(b) Case # WC Emp oyee Pet t oner v. Consolidated cases: Mainfreight, Inc. Employer/Respondent An Application for Adjustment of Claim was filed in this matter and a Notice of Hearing was mailed to each party. The matter was heard by the Honorable , Arbitrator of the Commission, in the city of Kankakee, on 12/20/22. After reviewing all of the evidence presented, the Arbitrator hereby makes findings on the disputed issues checked below, and attaches those findings to this document. DISPUTED ISSUES A. Was Respondent operating under and subject to the Illinois Workers' Compensation or Occupational Diseases Act? B. Was there an employee-employer relationship? C. Did an accident occur that arose out of and in the course of Petitioner's employment by Respondent? D. What was the date of the accident? E. Was timely notice of the accident given to Respondent? F. Is Petitioner's current condition of ill-being causally related to the injury? G. What were Petitioner's earnings? H. What was Petitioner's age at the time of the accident? I. What was Petitioner's marital status at the time of the accident? J. Were the medical services that were provided to Petitioner reasonable and necessary? Has Respondent paid all appropriate charges for all reasonable and necessary medical services? K. Is Petitioner entitled to any prospective medical care? L. What temporary benefits are in dispute? TPD Maintenance TTD M. Should penalties or fees be imposed upon Respondent? N. Is Respondent due any credit? O. Other ICArbDec19(b) 4/22 Web site: www.iwcc.il.gov FINDINGS On the date of accident, 1/24/22, Respondent was operating under and subject to the provisions of the Act. On this date, an employee-employer relationship did exist between Petitioner and Respondent. 24IWCC0017
  • 6. v. ., 22 WC 03 2 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. Petitioner's current condition of ill-being is causally related to the accident. In the year preceding the injury, Petitioner earned $44,720.00; the average weekly wage was $860.00. On the date of accident, Petitioner was 32 years of age, single with 0 dependent children. Respondent has not paid all reasonable and necessary charges for all reasonable and necessary medical services. Respondent shall be given a credit of $15,378.02 for TTD, $0 for TPD, $0 for maintenance, and $23,048.02 for past medical payments not to be credited against outstanding medical bills. Respondent is entitled to a credit of $0 under Section 8(j) of the Act. ORDER Medical benefits Respondent shall pay reasonable and necessary medical services of $44,186.20, contained in Petitioner’s Exhibit 1, pursuant to the medical fee schedule, as provided in Sections 8(a) and 8.2 of the Act. Temporary Total Disability Respondent shall pay Petitioner temporary total disability benefits of $573.33/week for 47 1/7 weeks, commencing 1/25/22 through 12/20/22, as provided in Section 8(b) of the Act. Respondent shall be given a credit of $15,378.02 for temporary total disability benefits that have been paid Average Weekly Wage Petitioner’s Average Weekly Wage (AWW) is $860.00 per week. Prospective Medical Care Petitioner is entitled to pros ective medical treatment pursuant to Section 8(a) of the Act including continued neurological care with Dr. and continued pain management services with Dr. L and physical therapy. RULES REGARDING APPEALS Unless a party files a Petition for Review within 30 days after receipt of this decision, and perfects a review in accordance with the Act and Rules, then this decision shall be entered as the decision of the Commission. STATEMENT OF INTEREST RATE If the Commission reviews this award, interest at the rate set forth on the Notice of Decision of Arbitrator shall accrue from the date listed below to the day before the date of payment; however, if an employee's appeal results in either no change or a decrease in this award, interest shall not accrue. ________________________________ FEBRUARY 17, 2023 Signature of Arbitrator ICArbDec19(b) 4IWCC0017
  • 7. WC 03078 3 ADDENDUM TO THE DECISION OF THE ARBITRATOR On January 24, 2022, Petitioner was working for Respondent, operating a forklift to unload freight from a semi-truck, when the semi-truck unexpectedly pulled away from the dock, causing Petitioner’s forklift to fall and crash about 6 feet to the ground. (Tr. 9). Petitioner was wearing a seat belt that secured only her lower body to the forklift. (Id., at 9). Immediately following the accident, Petitioner felt dizzy, anxious, and nauseous. (Id., at 9). Petitioner went home after the accident. (Id., at 11). On January 26, 2022, Petitioner reported her accident to Respondent who sent her to Physicians Immediate Care that day. Petitioner presented to Physician’s Immediate Care with a history of accident consistent with her testimony. (Px. 2). Her complaints of midline and lateral neck pain, mild headaches, nausea, and dizziness were noted. (Id.). On exam, midline tenderness in the cervical spine, bilateral tenderness along the STM muscles, and reduced range of neck motion was noted. Petitioner was diagnosed with a concussion without loss of consciousness and a cervical sprain. Sedentary work restrictions were noted. (Id.). On January 28, 2022, Petitioner presented to Illinois Orthopedic Network where Dr. E , a pain management physician, noted a history of neck, head, and right shoulder complaints. Petitioner reportedly experienced dizziness on a daily basis as well as nausea, and daily headaches since her accident. (Id.). Dr. diagnosed a concussion, cervicalgia, and back pain (Id.). On March 3, 2022, Petitioner followed up with Dr. who noted that her complaints were largely unchanged. (Id.). On March 17, 2022, Petitioner underwent a cervical MRI that identified a 2.4 mm central and left paracentral disc bulge causing some mild effacement of the thecal sac along with mild, left-sided, neural foraminal stenosis at C6-C7 along with a 2.2 mm central disc bulge causing mild effacement of the thecal sac at C5-C6. (Id.). On March 28, 2022, Dr. noted Petitioner’s complaints of persistent headaches, neck pain, and right shoulder pain (Id.). He recommended an occipital nerve injection at C3-5 on her right side for her symptoms. Dr. also referred Petitioner for a neurological consultation. (Id.). On September 7, 2022, Petitioner underwent cervical medial branch injections at C3-C6 administered by Dr. (Id.). Petitioner reported short-term pain relief from the injections at her follow-up with Dr. at which time the doctor recommended radiofrequency ablation for Petitioner’s cervical spine which she underwent on October 18, 2022. (Id.). On April 20, 2022, Petitioner presented for a neurological consult with, Dr. O at Associated Medical Centers of Illinois, pursuant to Dr. ’s referral. (Px. 3). Dr. noted the 32-year-old Petitioner reported a history dizziness, weakness, memory impairment, lack of concentration, nausea, and headaches every day, up to a 10/10 in intensity, accompanied by light and 24IWCC0017
  • 8. , 22 WC 03078 4 sound sensitivity (Id.). Petitioner also reported frequent fatigue, mood changes, and difficulty falling and staying asleep. Petitioner reportedly was healthy before the accident. Dr. diagnosed Petitioner with a mild Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) which, the doctor noted, is a clinical diagnosis based on positive symptoms in all 4 domains (physical, cognitive, emotional, and sleep). Dr. recommended an MRI of Petitioner’s brain, prescribed medications, and took Petitioner off of work. (Id.). On May 17, 2022, Petitioner presented to Dr. , an orthopedic specialist, pursuant to Respondent’s Section 12 request. (Rx. 2). Dr. noted Petitioner’s subjective complaints were consistent with her exam findings. Based on her history, exam, radiographs, and medical record, the doctor opined that Petitioner’s January 24, 2022 work injury aggravated her underlying cervical spondylosis (Id.). Dr. opined that Petitioner was not at MMI. He recommended continued treatment, including a stronger oral medication, like a Medrol Dosepak and possibly an occipital nerve block and facet injections if the medication did not help with her symptoms. (Id.). On June 14, 2022, Petitioner underwent an MRI of her brain that showed no significant abnormality. (Px. 3). On July 8, 2022, Petitioner presented to Dr. G , a neurologist, pursuant to Respondent’s Section 12 request. (Rx. 1). Dr. G noted her neurological exam was normal. Regarding Petitioner’s headaches, he noted that headache complaints are subjective and cannot be objectified on a neurologic exam. Dr. G opined that Petitioner did not suffer a head injury noting that she did not lose consciousness and there was no obvious head trauma, bruising, or bleeding on Petitioner’s head. (Id.). Respondent paid Petitioner TTD from January 25, 2022, through September 7, 2022. (Arb. 1). Petitioner did not receive any documentation from Respondent indicating her TTD benefits would be suspended or terminated. (Tr. at 23-24). The records in evidence show that Petitioner last followed up with Dr. on November 16, 2022, with complaints of persistent headaches, sleep disturbance, and memory impairment. The doctor has maintained Petitioner’s off-work restrictions for her head injury. (Px. 3). Regarding her current condition, Petitioner testified she has significant, persistent headaches, neck pain, and right shoulder pain that she did not have before her January 24, 2022, work injury (Id., at 25-27). She is still treating with Dr. and Dr. for her injuries and wishes to continue. (Id., at 31). 24IWCC0017
  • 9. 22 WC 03078 5 CONCLUSIONS OF LAW (F) Causal Connection Petitioner’s testimony in this case is unrebutted. Her consistent and persistent complaints are well documented in the record. Her testimony regarding the general state of good health she enjoyed before the accident is corroborated by the treating medical records in evidence. Her treating physicians continue to restrict her from working. Dr. opined that there was a causal relationship between the accident and her cervical condition, that Petitioner was not at MMI, and that she required further treatment. Regarding Petitioner’s head injury, the Arbitrator places more weight on the treating medical records, and opinions contained therein, than the opinions of Respondent’s Section 12 examiner. Dr. G did not consider the evidence of Petitioner’s general state of good health before the accident or the fact that her complaints thereafter are consistent and well- documented. The Arbitrator found Petitioner presented at the hearing as honest and sincere. The records in evidence corroborate her testimony which is unrebutted. Accordingly, the Arbitrator places significant weight on her testimony. Based on a preponderance of the credible evidence contained in the record, the Arbitrator finds that Petitioner has proven a causal connection exists between the accident and her current condition of ill- being. (G) Average Weekly Wage Petitioner’s Average Weekly Wage (AWW) is $860.00 a week as documented by her hiring letter from Respondent which indicates that Petitioner is a salaried worker at $44,270.00 a year which equates to $860.00 a week (Px. 5). (J) Medical Bills Based on a preponderance of the credible evidence contained in the record, including the disputed medical bills and the records associated with those bills, the Arbitrator finds that Petitioner’s treatment to date, including doctor’s appointments, diagnostic testing, injections, ablations, physical therapy, and pain medications, has been reasonable and necessary. Respondent shall pay reasonable and necessary medical services of $44,186.20, contained in Petitioner’s Exhibit 1, pursuant to the medical fee schedule, as provided in Sections 8(a) and 8.2 of the Act. (K) Prospective Medical Care 24IWCC0017
  • 10. ., 22 WC 03078 6 Based on the preponderance of credible evidence contained in the record, the Arbitrator finds that Petitioner is entitled to prospective medical treatment by Dr. including continued pain management services and physical therapy as well as continued neurological care with Dr. . (L) TTD Based on a preponderance of the credible evidence contained in the record, including the testimony of IME Dr. , the Arbitrator finds the Petitioner is entitled to TTD from January 25, 2022, to December 20, 2022, a period of 47 1/7 weeks. 24IWCC0017