St. Louis-Area County Approves Workers’ Comp for Court Employee

On behalf of Brown & Crouppen, P.C. posted in Workers’ Compensation on Thursday, December 22, 2011

A worker at a circuit court in the St. Louis metropolitan area will receive damages for repetitive stress injuries to her wrists and elbows developed over 20 years on the job after the St. Clair County Board approved a $93,200 award on Dec. 19. The decision follows the county’s appeal of a decision by Illinois’ Workers’ Compensation Commission to uphold an arbitration ruling in the worker’s favor.

That decision came in December 2010. The arbiter found that the employee, who worked as operations manager for the county circuit court, developed carpal tunnel syndrome in her wrists and cubital tunnel syndrome in her elbows while typing and filing papers as part of her duties. The pain in her joints began in 2007 and made it difficult for her to hold a piece of paper.

The worker went to the doctor, and medical tests revealed the repetitive stress injuries to her wrists and elbows. A St. Louis hand surgeon confirmed the diagnoses and linked the painful injuries to her job with the court.

The county appealed the arbitration ruling to the workers’ compensation board, which upheld the award. On a second appeal, the county board also ruled in the injured worker’s favor. The $93,200 in compensation will likely be a little higher because a small amount of interest will accrue until the county pays the principal.

This case is an example of how office workers can develop debilitating injuries despite not working with heavy machinery, toxic chemicals or other common sources of workplace injuries.

Source: Belleville News Democrat, “County Board OKs workers’ comp award; taxpayers will pay up to $93,200,” Kevin Bersett, Dec. 20, 2011

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