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Archer Daniels Midland Co. v. Ind. Com.

OPINION FILED DECEMBER 16, 1983.

ARCHER DANIELS MIDLAND COMPANY, APPELLANT,

v.

THE INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION ET AL. (LEAH REYNOLDS, APPELLEE).



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Macon County, the Hon. Donald W. Morthland, Judge, presiding.

JUSTICE CLARK DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Rehearing denied January 27, 1984.

Claimant, Leah Reynolds, injured her back while at work on July 7, 1978. The claimant was employed by Archer Daniels Midland Company, the respondent in this cause. Both parties agree that the claimant suffered an accidental injury arising out of and in the course of her employment. The dispute arises regarding the extent of her injuries and the amount of compensation she is to receive.

Upon claimant's application to the Industrial Commission, an arbitrator awarded claimant $3,491.84 in temporary total disability benefits under section 8(b) of the Workers' Compensation Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 48, par. 138.8(b)), $218.40 for necessary medical expenses under section 8(a) of the Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 48, par. 138.8(a)), and $11,804.80 in permanent partial disability benefits under section 8(d)(2) of the Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 48, par. 138.8(d)(2)). On review, in an order dated December 18, 1980, the Commission affirmed the arbitrator's decision awarding $3,491.84 in temporary total disability, reduced the award for medical expenses to $91.52, awarded $252.80 for mileage expenses, and increased the section 8(d)(2) benefits from 85 to 100 weeks, from $11,804.80 to $13,880. The Commission found that "as the result of said accidental injury the Petitioner sustained the partial disability of the Petitioner as a whole to the extent of 20% thereof, inclusive of the fracture of the spinous process of T-1, and is entitled to compensation therefor as provided in paragraph (d-2) of Section 8, of said Act, as amended."

The respondent appealed the Commission's decision to the circuit court of Macon County. On June 17, 1981, the circuit court reversed the Commission's decision of December 18, 1980, holding:

"(1) That under Section 8(d)(2) of the Workers' Compensation Act of Illinois as a matter of law there must be evidence of permanent disability before the Industrial Commission of Illinois can enter an award under that Section for partial disability of the whole person;

(2) That there is no evidence in the record that the petitioner sustained permanent disability of the whole person;

(3) That the decision of the Industrial Commission of Illinois that the petitioner sustained partial disability of the whole person to the extent of 20% thereof is contrary to the manifest weight of the evidence of record and is reversed;

(4) That the petitioner has sustained a fracture of the spinous process of her T-1 vertebra and is entitled to those benefits under the Act relevant in the absence of any permanent disability of the whole person;

* * * that this cause be and is hereby remanded to the Industrial Commission of Illinois for entry of a decision not inconsistent with this order."

On remand, the Commission, on its own motion, commenced proceedings under section 19(c) of the Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 48, par. 138.19(c)), to obtain further medical evidence regarding claimant's condition. Respondent thereafter filed for a writ of mandamus in the circuit court of Macon County requesting that the court direct the Industrial Commission to terminate its proceedings to obtain further medical evidence. The court, by means of a mandamus order, directed the Commission to terminate any and all proceedings for additional medical evidence and to decide the cause on the evidence of record. The circuit court ordered the Commission to issue a decision as directed in its order of June 17, 1981. The Commission terminated its section 19(c) proceeding as directed.

On May 24, 1982, the Commission issued a majority decision upon remand, finding:

"1. Pursuant to the order of the Circuit Court of Macon County, the Commission finds Petitioner failed to prove she sustained any permanent disability as a result of the accident of July 7, 1978.

2. As a result of the accident of July 7, 1978 Petitioner sustained a fracture of the spinous process of T-1 and is entitled to 60 weeks of ...


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