Appeal from Circuit Court Cook County No. 00L51023 Honorable Alexander P. White, Judge Presiding.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Rarick
On December 14, 1987, claimant, Harold Mayes, was awarded permanent total disability (PTD) benefits pursuant to the Workers' Compensation Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1986, ch. 48, par. 138.1 et seq.) (Act) for injuries sustained while in the employ of Navistar International Transportation Corporation (Navistar).
On January 11, 1979, Mayes sustained accidental injuries to his left leg, which required surgical intervention and lengthy periods of inactivity. On December 14, 1987, the arbitrator found that such injuries arose out of and in the course of Mayes' employment and that he was permanently and totally disabled as a result thereof. She further found that Mayes' orthopedic problems and limitations were complicated by his obesity, diabetes and hypertension, which did not manifest until after the accident.
On August 28, 1991, Mayes followed up with Dr. Acuna, an orthopedic surgeon, who concluded that Mayes was unable to work because of limited motion and pain in the left knee as well as arthritis.
From February 24, 1992, through March 2, 1992, Mayes was treated at Gottlieb Memorial Hospital for thrombophlebitis and insulin dependent diabetes. He followed up with Dr. Popper for treatment of these conditions.
On October 25, 1993, Mayes returned to Dr. Acuna for reevaluation. He was walking with a cane and the range of motion in his back was markedly limited. Dr. Acuna reported that Mayes' permanent disability was unchanged.
On October 23, 1993, Mayes went to the Gottlieb Hospital emergency room where he was diagnosed with Bell's palsy. On October 25, 1993, Dr. Popper diagnosed recurrent thrombophlebitis, insulin dependent diabetes, Bell's palsy and hypertension. Dr. Popper noted that Mayes could not and should not even be expected to return to work.
From June 2, 1994, through March 24, 1995, Navistar made repeated attempts to contact Mayes, requesting that he provide current medical reports to substantiate his ongoing disability. Mayes was told that if he failed to cooperate his PTD benefits would be suspended.
On March 11, 1995, Mayes was treated at Gottlieb emergency room for a non-healing sore to his great left toe. He was diagnosed with manifestations of diabetes and chronic skin ulcers. Mayes was given medication and told to wear an orthopedic shoe.
On March 24, 1995, a letter was sent to Mayes advising him that his benefits were being suspended because of his failure to cooperate regarding a current medical examination.
On April 17, 1995, Mayes went to the Gottlieb emergency room complaining of joint pain in his left knee. An x-ray revealed degenerative changes. Mayes was diagnosed with chronic knee pain. Mayes saw Dr. Acuna on April 20, 1995, regarding his knee pain. Dr. Acuna gave Mayes an injection.
On April 28, 1995, Mayes saw Dr. Acuna after falling on his left knee the day before. Dr. Acuna gave Mayes another injection and prescribed pain medication and physical therapy. Mayes underwent physical therapy at C&S Rehabilitation Services from May 10, 1995 through May 24, 1995. Also on April 28, 1995, Mayes received a letter indicating that he had been scheduled for an exam with Dr. Marquardt on May 15, 1995, and that his benefits would be reinstated after the results of his exam were reviewed. Mayes did not receive a check to cover the costs incurred in attending such exam. Mayes did not attend the exam because he was ill, although he attended a physical therapy session that day.
On May 16, 1995, Navistar had Pinkerton Investigation Services perform a surveillance of Mayes. He was seen riding a lawn mower for 13 minutes.
On May 19, 1995, Mayes was sent a letter requesting that he submit to Navistar a letter stating that he was willing to appear for a reexamination. The letter indicated that an appointment would be ...