Heyl Royster

 

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Elward Quoted in Work Comp Central Article on Recent IL Supreme Court Workers’ Compensation Decision

04/13/2015

Brad Elward was recently quoted in a feature article published in WorkComp Central, a national online workers' compensation publication, concerning the Illinois Supreme Court's April 16 decision in Illinois State Treasurer v. Illinois Workers' Compensation Comm'n. In that case, the court interpreted the appeal bond provisions of the workers' compensation appeal statute and concluded that the Illinois State Treasurer was required to obtain and file an appeal bond in support of the Fund's judicial review appeal.

The Illinois State Treasurer opinion, while dealing with the limited issue of a state entity standing in the shoes of an employer, is nevertheless important for Illinois employers, who are required to obtain appeal bonds as a prerequisite to filing a judicial review. The court's strict interpretation of the Act's bond provisions puts employers on notice that the statute must be strictly complied within all regards.

In one portion of the opinion, the court commented that the General Assembly was free to legislatively address the specific issue and include the Treasurer in his ex officio capacity as an entity exempt from the bond requirement, should it so choose.

"I think there is a high likelihood that the General Assembly will take up this procedural issue this year as it looks at the [Illinois Workers' Compensation Act], given the recent election of Gov. Bruce Rauner…." Elward said in the article.

Noting that Rauner had taken office in January, Elward said, "there is already talk of substantive changes to the Act, and there is a proposal making its way to the General Assembly for amendments to Section 19(f)."

Given the state's "tight economic times,"  Elward said he thought it would make sense for the state to want to protect its budget by adding the Treasurer, in his ex officio capacity relative to the Injured Workers' Benefit Fund, to the list of those entities excluded from the bond requirement.

Elward has written and lectured extensively on workers' compensation appeal bonds and the appeal procedures governing workers' compensation appeals.