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11/16/95 VICKI L. FRANK v. INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION ET

November 16, 1995

VICKI L. FRANK, APPELLEE AND CROSS-APPELLANT,
v.
THE INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION ET AL. (PASS PETS, LTD., APPELLANT AND CROSS-APPELLEE).



Appeal from Circuit Court of Champaign County. No. 93L516. Honorable George S. Miller, Judge Presiding.

Rehearing Denied January 5, 1996. Released for Publication January 5, 1996. As Corrected January 9, 1996.

Honorable John T. McCULLOUGH, P.j., Honorable Thomas R. Rakowski, J., Honorable Michael J. Colwell, J., Honorable William E. Holdridge, J., Concurring. Honorable Philip J. Rarick, J., Dissenting

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Mccullough

PRESIDING JUSTICE McCULLOUGH delivered the opinion of the court:

Claimant, Vicki Frank, sought benefits pursuant to section 19(b-1) of the Workers' Compensation Act (Act) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1989, ch. 48, par. 138.19(b-1)) for injuries she sustained while in the employ of Pass Pets, Ltd. (Pass Pets). While taking down Easter decorations, Frank lost her balance and jumped or fell from the stepladder on which she was standing. She felt a "jarring" sensation in her lower back and upper right leg. Ultimately, Frank had two surgeries on her lower back.

The arbitrator awarded temporary total disability benefits (TTD), plus additional medical expenses of $33,350.70, a sum in addition to previous medical expenses paid by Pass Pets for treatment rendered Frank by two previous medical providers. On March 16, 1993, the Industrial Commission (Commission) reversed the award for medical expenses, finding the $33,350.70 related to expenses incurred beyond the chain of referral of Frank's two chosen medical providers. The Commission confirmed the award in all other respects.

On April 16, 1993, claimant filed a petition for administrative review in the circuit court and Pass Pets filed a motion to dismiss that appeal based on the untimeliness of claimant's request for summons. The circuit court denied the motion to dismiss and reversed the Commission's denial of the medical award, finding the first provider was of Pass Pet's choosing and not one chosen by Frank. Pass Pets appeals. Because we find the circuit court was without jurisdiction due to Frank's failure to timely comply with the requirements of section 19(f)(1) of the Act (820 ILCS 305/19(f)(1) (West 1992)), we vacate the circuit court's order and reinstate the Commission's decision.

Section 19(f)(1) of the Act requires that "[a] proceeding for review shall be commenced within 20 days of the receipt of notice of the decision of the Commission." (820 ILCS 305/19(f)(1) (West 1992).) The application for adjustment of claim with respect to claimant's attorney shows:

"Thomas R. Kelso

Attorney

Beckett & Crewell

Firm Name

313 N. Mattis, # 214, P.O. ...


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