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Illinois workers' compensation issues led to litigation

An Illinois food supply worker was seriously injured on the job. As a result, he filed a workers' compensation claim. Sometime later, when he learned additional information that implicated fault on the part of someone other than his employer, he filed a lawsuit against that person.

The worker was employed at a food supply company and was performing maintenance on a fudge mixer when the accident occurred. While he was working, someone turned on the mixer, which caused severe hand damage to the worker. He lost several fingers in the tragic incident.

The switch that turned on the mixer was installed in a location where the person engaging the switch could not see the mixer. When the injured worker learned the name of the contractor who had been possibly negligent in installing the switch in an obscure location, he sought to hold the contractor financially accountable for negligence. The court ruled that a statute of limitations had expired. The worker appealed the decision, stating that the expiration of time should have begun when he learned the contractor's name not from the date of injury; however, the appellate court judges upheld the lower court's decision, except for a dissenting justice who said the ruling was unfair toward injured workers.

Workers' compensation insurance is meant to provide benefits to injured workers in Illinois and elsewhere. If a complication arises during the claims process or regarding subsequent litigation, it is helpful to consult with an experienced attorney who is well-versed in work injury law and knows how to navigate the system. The aftermath of a workplace injury can be a stressful time for an injured worker and his or her family, and having an attorney by one's side can help alleviate such stress.

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