APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION DIVISION
543 N.E.2d 149, 187 Ill. App. 3d 269, 134 Ill. Dec. 866 1989.IL.1203
Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Mary M. Conrad, Judge, presiding.
JUSTICE WOODWARD delivered the opinion of the court. BARRY, P.J., and McNAMARA, McCULLOUGH, and LEWIS, JJ., concur.
DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE WOODWARD
Claimant, Alan Marsh, filed an application for adjustment of claim under the Workers' Compensation Act (Act) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 48, par. 138.1 et seq.) alleging that he had suffered a work-related injury on August 16, 1985. The arbitrator found that claimant was not temporarily and totally disabled after October 27, 1986, and that he failed to show that rehabilitation or vocational training was appropriate or necessary.
The Industrial Commission (Commission) reversed the arbitrator's decision, finding that claimant was disabled from August 24, 1985, to July 21, 1986, and from October 28, 1986, to July 1, 1987, the date on which the arbitration hearing was held. Further, the Commission found that claimant was entitled to vocational rehabilitation. The circuit court of Cook County confirmed the Commission as to TTD benefits and remanded the case to the Commission with instructions to complete its vocational rehabilitation award. On remand, the Commission adopted the vocational rehabilitation award as fashioned by a rehabilitation specialist. The circuit court confirmed this decision, and this appeal followed.
On appeal, respondent raises four issues, namely: (1) the award of TTD benefits subsequent to October 27, 1986, was against the manifest weight of the evidence; (2) the record does not support an award of vocational rehabilitation; (3) the Commission considered evidence not contained in the record; and (4) the Commission's decision was not timely.
In addressing defendant's argument that the Commission's award of TTD benefits subsequent to October 27, 1986, was against the manifest weight of the evidence, the following facts are pertinent. Claimant testified to the following at the arbitration hearing. In August 1985, claimant was employed as a pest control technician by respondent, and he operated a commercial route which included servicing restaurants, factories, bakeries, hotels, landfills, and industrial sites. On August 16, 1985, he serviced three landfills, putting out rodent bait on the premises. At one landfill, while putting out the bait, claimant stepped on some "green liquid" that was oozing out of the ground. Claimant was wearing boots at the time. He noticed that his feet were starting to burn. At the end of the workday, claimant reported the incident to his supervisor, Douglas Dee.
Over the weekend, claimant soaked his feet in Epsom salts and applied vaseline and hand cream to them. He noticed his feet were swelling and starting to turn purple. On August 24, 1985, after noticing the discoloration spreading up his legs, claimant sought medical attention at Humana Medfirst (Humana). On August 26, 1985, the discoloration had extended to his torso; claimant also experienced swelling in his joints. Humana referred him to Dr. J. Walthers, who prescribed medication and additional testing.
Dr. Walthers subsequently hospitalized claimant at South Suburban Hospital for five days, during which time numerous tests were performed. Dr. Walthers determined that claimant had hemorrhagic dermatitis involving both lower extremities. Scattered eczematoid lesions were located over claimant's trunk. Dr. Walthers' diagnosis was toxic dermatitis, etiology unknown. Claimant's condition began to improve with a treatment regimen of ointments and medication.
Claimant was then referred to a dermatologist, Dr. Katherine Wier, who first saw him on January 10, 1986. Dr. Wier diagnosed claimant's condition as probable allergic contact dermatitis. In a letter dated April 22, 1986, written to respondent's insurer. Dr. Wier stated that there had been an excellent resolution of allergic contact dermatitis but that claimant was experiencing a flare-up of psoriasis which originated in the severe dermatitis. Allergy testing conducted by Dr. Wier, in or about March 1986, indicated that claimant was allergic to a number of chemicals, some of which were present in industrial chemicals. At this time, Dr. Wier noted considerable skin discoloration in places where the dermatitis and psoriasis had previously occurred.
In mid-April 1986, claimant began twice weekly ultraviolet treatments to achieve complete clearing of the skin. Dr. Wier opined that, due to his severe allergies to certain chemicals, claimant should not return to chemical work as on his previous job. Dr. Wier further stated that claimant should be rehabilitated into a job that does not involve said chemicals.
In a July 18, 1986, letter to respondent's insurer, Dr. Wier diagnosed claimant's condition as follows: (1) residual psoriasis in scattered small plaques, remaining as a Koebner reaction form; (2) severe contact dermatitis from chemicals at work; and (3) hyperpigmentation of the skin on legs and ...