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QBE Insurance Co. v. Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Fifth District

July 12, 2013

QBE INSURANCE COMPANY, Appellant,
v.
THE ILLINOIS WORKERS' COMPENSATION COMMISSION et al. (Ronald Voges and G & S Foundry, Appellees).

Appeal from Circuit Court of St. Clair County No. 11MR293 Honorable Stephen P. McGlynn, Judge, Presiding.

Attorney for Appellant: Ian M. White, Ganan & Shapiro, P.C.

Attorneys for Appellees Daniel K. Juncker, Attorney at Law, (attorney for Ronald Voges); Michael R. Baggot, Ripes, Nelson, Baggot & Kalobratsos, P.C. (attorney for G & S Foundry)

Presiding Justice Holdridge and Justices Hoffman, Hudson, and Stewart concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

Honorable Thomas M. Harris, Jr., J.

¶ 1 QBE Insurance Company (QBE) appeals from an order of the circuit court of St. Clair County which confirmed a decision of the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission (Commission), ordering the employer, G & S Foundry, to pay claimant, Ronald Voges, benefits pursuant to the Workers' Compensation Act (Act) (820 ILCS 305/1 to 30 (West 2008)), for repetitive trauma injuries he suffered to his hands, elbows, and upper extremities while employed by the employer. For the reasons which follow, we dismiss QBE's appeal for lack of jurisdiction.

¶ 2 I. BACKGROUND

¶ 3 On January 28, 2010, claimant filed an application for adjustment of claim pursuant to the Act, seeking benefits from the employer for repetitive trauma injuries suffered to his hands, elbows, and upper extremities on May 12, 2009, later amended to October 14, 2010. Claimant named only himself and the employer as parties in the application.

¶ 4 Following a hearing held pursuant to section 19(b) of the Act (820 ILCS 305/19(b) (West 2008)), an arbitrator found claimant's current condition of ill-being causally related to his work injury on October 14, 2010. The arbitrator ordered the employer to compensate claimant for (1) medical expenses and (2) medical treatment, including surgical intervention for severe bilateral carpal and cubital tunnel syndrome.

¶ 5 The arbitrator filed its decision with the Commission on February 11, 2011, and the Commission mailed a copy of the arbitrator's decision to claimant's attorney and the employer's attorney. See 820 ILCS 305/19(b) (West 2008).

¶ 6 On March 17, 2011, QBE filed a petition for review of the arbitrator's decision before the Commission, stating in part: "QBE as respondent requests the Commission to review the arbitration decision for this case, filed on 2/11/11 and received on 2/22/11." Claimant had not named QBE as a respondent in his application for adjustment of claim, and QBE had not participated in the hearing before the arbitrator.

¶ 7 On March 23, 2011, the employer filed a petition for review of the arbitrator's decision before the Commission.

¶ 8 On April 29, 2011, QBE filed a motion with the Commission requesting that QBE be added as a "named party" in the instant workers' compensation case. QBE stated in support of its motion that when claimant amended his application "at the time of trial, " to allege an accident date of October 14, 2010, "it brought the claim into the policy coverage dates of QBE." QBE did not receive notice of the claim "until after the 19(b) hearing took place and the proofs were closed." QBE sought to be added as a named party "to defend against the award made to [claimant]" and considered it "a conflict of interest to enter [its] appearance in conjunction with the [employer]."

ΒΆ 9 On July 26, 2011, QBE filed a second motion with the Commission, again requesting that QBE be added as a "named party" in the instant workers' compensation case. The motion was identical to the motion filed by QBE on April 29, 2011, except for the addition of a ...


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