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01/30/89 Thomas Busaytis, v. the Industrial Commission

January 30, 1989

THOMAS BUSAYTIS, APPELLANT

v.

THE INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION ET AL. (COMMONWEALTH EDISON COMPANY, APPELLEE)



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, THIRD DISTRICT, INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION DIVISION

533 N.E.2d 1178, 178 Ill. App. 3d 943, 128 Ill. Dec. 90 1989.IL.92

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Will County; the Hon. Herman S. Haase, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

PRESIDING JUSTICE BARRY delivered the opinion of the court. McNAMARA, WOODWARD, McCULLOUGH, and LEWIS, JJ., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE BARRY

The arbitrator found that the petitioner, Thomas Busaytis, had failed to prove that he had suffered a compensable, permanent disability as a result of a work injury. The Industrial Commission affirmed the arbitrator's decision. The circuit court confirmed the Commission's decision. The petitioner appeals.

The parties stipulated that on September 1, 1979, the petitioner suffered accidental eye and face injuries arising out of and in the course of his employment. Regarding that accident, the petitioner testified before the arbitrator that he was working as a control system technician for the respondent Commonwealth Edison, when a three-quarter inch plug shot out of an air dryer, striking his left eye. Cylinder gel and crystal beads also shot out of the dryer and into both of his eyes. A hospital emergency room physician cleaned his face and eyes, prescribed eye medicine and told him to come back the next day to see ophthalmologist John Minier.

Hospital medical records introduced into evidence showed that the emergency room physician found multiple foreign bodies in both of the petitioner's eyes. His right eye had multiple abrasions on the cornea. His left eye also had multiple abrasions, with evidence of corneal edema and hyphemia. The petitioner's right eye vision was 20/25, while his left eye vision was 20/200.

The petitioner further testified that the next day Dr. Minier examined him and told him to continue using the prescribed medicine and return in two days. Dr. Minier examined the petitioner several more times, prescribed bed rest and referred him to ophthalmologist Graham Dobbie.

Dr. Minier's medical records introduced into evidence showed that following the accident the petitioner had a subconjunctival hemorrhage laterally in his right eye. By September 7, 1979, the right eye hemorrhage was receding. The left eye was clear and the pupil widely dilated. Dr. Minier reported that as of September 18, 1979, both eyes were normal, with each showing 20/20 vision. On September 27, 1979, the petitioner returned to Dr. Minier, complaining of pain and a sandy feeling in his left eye. On January 8, 1980, the petitioner returned complaining of flashing pain in his left eye and a droopy left eyelid.

Dr. Dobbie's medical records in evidence show that he examined the petitioner on October 2, 1979, finding that the petitioner's right eye looked fine and that he had vision of 20/25 in it. His left eye vision was 20/30-2. Dr. Dobbie noted that there was evidence of glaucoma in the left eye and recommended that the petitioner be checked for it periodically. Upon reexamining the petitioner on January 15, 1980, Dr. Dobbie reported that "the sluggishness of the pupil is the result of the old injury. This may eventually come back to fairly normal function, but only time will tell."

The petitioner testified that since 1980 he had been seeing ophthalmologist Paul Sternberg at least once every two months. Dr. Sternberg's medical records in evidence show that he examined the petitioner on February 28, 1980. At that time, the petitioner's right eye ocular tension was 20 mm.Hg., while the left eye tension was 26 mm.Hg. (We note that other evidence in the record shows a normal ocular tension range to be 11 mm.Hg. to 21 mm.Hg. Tensions above 21 mm.Hg. indicate the presence of glaucoma.) Dr. Sternberg prescribed an antiglaucoma drug for the petitioner's left eye. Continued use of the drug has maintained the petitioner's left eye tension within the normal range. In an October 12, 1983, report, Dr. Sternberg stated: "Glaucoma in the left eye probably is the result of an accidental injury which had occurred while at work."

The petitioner testified that he had no dilation or constriction problems in either eye prior to the injury; he did not wear glasses before the injury; and he had never suffered from glaucoma. He further stated that at the time of the arbitration hearing he suffered from extreme light sensitivity, blind spots in his left eye, poor overhead vision and "shooting stars" in his left eye. He now wears prescription glasses.

The petitioner introduced into evidence the medical reports from his yearly, work-required examinations. The June 29, 1979, report showed that his left eye vision was 20/25 far and 20/30 near, while his right eye vision was 20/20 far and 20/30 near. The ...


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