Heyl Royster

 


Heyl Royster

 

Latest Update from Chairman Brennan

4/27/20

Chairman Brennan has presented a Motion to Withdraw the emergency rule enacted last week providing for a rebuttable presumption for COVID-19 exposure claims. This means the rebuttable presumption rule (9030.70) is now dead.

In our E-Blast earlier today we provided you with an update from the frontlines as it relates to the temporary restraining order (TRO) filed by the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association and Illinois Retail Merchants Association. The Court in Springfield agreed with the arguments set forth in the TRO and signed an Order on Friday, April 24, 2020, enjoining the Commission from using the rule and establishing a rebuttable presumption in a COVID-19 case. Today, Monday, April 27, 2020, Chairman Michael Brennan and his Commissioners held and participated in a meeting (via conference call) which was open to the public. The one and only subject on the agenda was the Chairman’s motion to withdraw the Rule and amendment which we discussed in great detail in our recent Below the Red Line newsletter (click here to view). The motion was unanimously approved. This means the rebuttable presumption rule (9030.70) is now dead. The Chairman cited two major reasons he was doing this. One, the IWCC did not have the money and resources to deal with the pending litigation in Springfield, and two, he did not like the idea of uncertainty or allowing this new Rule to be “up in the air” moving forward and how it would be applied to any COVID-19 claims. The Chairman stated he would be forming a Committee to look into how to deal with the COVID-19 crisis from a Commission perspective. The bottom line is this: the rebuttable presumption rule is no more, and the lawsuit filed in Springfield will be dismissed because the basis of that TRO Petition is now moot since the rule is dead. The status quo is back in place as of right now. If you reference both our March and April 2020 newsletters you will be fully informed and have a clear understanding of what the status quo is in Illinois for COVID-19 exposure claims and the standards which are in place per the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act and Workers’ Occupational Diseases Act (820 ILCS 305/1 and 820 ILCS 310/1).

Toney Tomaso
ttomaso@heylroyster.com