Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, First Division
from the Circuit Court Of Cook County. No. 18 L 50369 The
Honorable James M. McGing, Judge Presiding.
Attorneys for Appellant: Jeffrey N. Powell, of Hennessy &
Roach, P.C., of Chicago, for appellant.
Attorneys for Appellee: John W. Powers, of Cullen, Haskins,
Nicholson & Menchetti, P.C., of Chicago, for appellee.
JUSTICE WALKER delivered the judgment of the court, with
opinion. Presiding Justice Griffin and Justice Pierce
concurred in the judgment and opinion.
1 The circuit court held that the entire amount of an
arbitrator's award, stated as a weekly amount times a
number of weeks, came due when the Illinois Workers'
Compensation Commission (Commission) adopted the
arbitrator's award. The employer, the City of Chicago
(City), paid its injured employee only the weekly amount
times the number of weeks that had elapsed by the time of
payment. The injured employee filed a section 19(g) petition
under the Workers' Compensation Act (Act) (820 ILCS
305/19(g) (West 2016)) in the circuit court, alleging that
all permanent partial disability benefits awarded to
employees should be paid in a lump sum, whether they had
accrued or not. The trial court entered a judgment awarding
the employee the unpaid part of the award plus interest and
attorney fees. The City argues on appeal that it paid all
amounts due as they accrued, and it intended to pay the
remainder of the award monthly, as it accrued. We hold that
the City correctly paid its injured employee the amounts
awarded as those amounts accrued over time. We reverse the
circuit court's judgment.
2 I. BACKGROUND
3 On March 31, 2014, Alphonse Iannoni suffered an injury in
the course of his employment with the City. He filed a claim
for workers' compensation. The City began paying
workers' compensation benefits to Iannoni as the parties
proceeded to arbitration.
4 The arbitrator entered a final decision, dated March 21,
2018, awarding Iannoni both temporary total disability
benefits and permanent partial disability benefits. The
arbitrator set temporary total disability benefits at $902.67
per week for 1493/7 weeks, for a total of $134,884.68. The
City had already paid $128,694.95, so it owed only $6189.73
for temporary total disability. The arbitrator added,
"Petitioner is permanently partially disabled to the
extent of 35% loss of use of the person as a whole under
Section 8(d)2 of the Act [(820 ILCS 305/8(d)(2) (West
2016))], equivalent to 175 weeks of benefits." The
arbitrator awarded "$721.66 per week." Neither
party challenged the award. The Commission adopted the
arbitrator's award as its final order.
5 On May 9, 2018, the City sent Iannoni a check for
$62,890.49, covering the remaining temporary total disability
benefits and more than 70 weeks of permanent partial
disability benefits. The City sent Iannoni a second check in
June 2018 for $3135.78, covering a little more than four
times the weekly permanent partial disability benefits the
6 On June 27, 2018, Iannoni filed a complaint against the
City, seeking immediate payment of the remainder of the
permanent partial disability award, plus interest and
attorney fees. The City answered that it had already paid all
of the amounts that had accrued as of the date of the
complaint. The City chose to pay Iannoni monthly amounts to
match the mandatory rate of $721.66 per week, until it paid
the entire amount the arbitrator awarded. The City added,
"the benefits are processed for the entire upcoming
month, even though they have not yet accrued as of the date
they are issued. Plaintiff is actually receiving the benefits
early." Iannoni replied, "The award can be
calculated to the precise penny and Defendant is obligated to
pay regardless of whether the Plaintiff is alive or dead. ***
[T]he entire award was due and payable, i.e.
accrued, the moment the Commission's decision became
7 In an order dated October 30, 2018, the circuit court said:
"A permanent disability is immutable. It will not go
away. The worker who suffers from a permanent disability is
therefore entitled to a lump sum benefit in exchange for the
loss of the complete use of their person. This is in sharp
contrast to a temporary disability. It makes sense that
temporary disability benefits would accrue on an installment
basis during the pendency of the disability-the purpose of
temporary disability benefits is to compensate the worker
during their period of incapacity."
8 The circuit court entered a judgment in favor of Iannoni
for the amount of unpaid benefits plus attorney fees of
$34,247.50. The court requested supplemental briefs on
interest. The ...