Before the Commission, Danly offered additional medical evidence. According to Dr. Lee, a doctor to whom Dr. Nootens referred claimant, claimant's poor vision was due to amblyopia secondary to anisometropia, high myopic retina degeneration and some cataract in that eye. Dr. Lee stated that the cataract may be due to the injury claimant sustained but that the rest of his condition is due to congenital changes. Dr. Lee stated that claimant could only count fingers at one foot and that the right eye was 20/200 at two inches without glasses.
APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION DIVISION
526 N.E.2d 415, 172 Ill. App. 3d 154, 122 Ill. Dec. 156 1988.IL.984
Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Mary Conrad, Judge, presiding.
JUSTICE McNAMARA delivered the opinion of the court. BARRY, P.J., and WOODWARD, McCULLOUGH and CALVO, JJ., concur.
DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE MCNAMARA
The Industrial Commission (Commission) awarded claimant, Robert Kamm, compensation and benefits for 100% loss of use of his right eye as the result of an industrial accident which occurred while employed by Danly Machine Corporation. The trial court confirmed the decision of the Commission. On appeal, Danly maintains that claimant failed to prove a causal relationship between the accidental injury he sustained on the job and his condition of ill-being. Danly also contends that the Commission's finding that the nature and extent of claimant's injuries amounted to 100% loss of use of his eye is against the manifest weight of the evidence.
Claimant was hired by Danly in 1950. A preemployment physical revealed that he had vision of 20/200 in his right eye. In 1979, claimant was still employed by Danly and was working as a machine operator. His duties included reading blue prints and veneers, setting up jobs and machining those jobs. On January 10, 1979, claimant was striking a piece of metal with a hard hammer when a piece of the metal broke, shattered and flew up, striking claimant in the right eye. Although claimant was wearing safety glasses at the time, the metal flew up under the safety glasses and penetrated his eye.
Claimant testified that immediately after the accident, his eye was bleeding, he saw black and white and then could not see anything out of that eye. Danly sent him to see Dr. Nootens, an eye specialist, who examined claimant and admitted him to the hospital. Claimant underwent surgery for the removal of a steel sliver in his right eye and spent six days in the hospital.
Claimant returned to his regular job as a machine operator on April 2, 1979. Claimant was fitted for new glasses but testified that even with the new glasses he could not read the first line of the eye chart. Previously, he was able to read the third line of the eye chart.
On May 24, 1979, claimant was examined by Dr. Nootens. Claimant's vision in his right eye was counting fingers at eight feet and his best corrected vision in the left eye was 20/20. Dr. Nootens reexamined claimant in October 1979. Claimant's best corrected vision in the right eye was 20/80 and 20/25 in the left eye.
At a hearing before the arbitrator in September 1981, claimant testified that after the accident, he could see light and dark objects. He stated that his right eye is blurry and it tears a lot and he gets more headaches now than before the accident. He testified that prior to the accident he could read and identify people with his right eye if wearing glasses. Since the accident, however, he cannot read at all with his right eye and cannot distinguish people on his right side.
Dr. Nootens reviewed claimant's medical record with claimant's optometrist and found that his right eye has always been an amblyopic eye and he is extremely myopic.
On January 20, 1981, claimant was examined by Dr. Feinhandler at the request of his attorney. Dr. Feinhandler's examination revealed that claimant could only count fingers at two feet with his right eye and that refraction left the right eye unimproved. Upon rechecking the refraction of claimant's right eye, Dr. Feinhandler measured its vision to be 20/400 and blurry. Dr. Feinhandler's diagnosis and prognosis found that claimant was operated on for a perforating metallic foreign body in the right globe, which caused a scleral-conjunctival scar in the right globe. Claimant also has severe myopia in the right eye. The myopia appeared to be congenital and, by itself, would not necessarily cause such a severe loss of vision. Dr. Feinhandler stated that part of the loss of vision is due to the cataract change in the right eye, which, in itself, is not sufficient to cause 20/400 decrease of vision. "Part of the loss of vision, therefore, could be due to the injury and sequelae. To determine the exact ...