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Fax: 312.277.3008
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Case Name: July 2015 – “John Doe” v. Ewing-Doherty
Venue: Geneva IWCC & Kane County Circuit Court

Handling Attorney: Bradley  Knell
Date of Accident: 08/04/11
Potential Exposure: Permanent total – $756,049.56 at 4% discount rate plus TTD – $103,896.00 and surgery – $80,000.00. Total: $939,945.56
Final Settlement: $120,000.00

Dear Clients,

We are pleased to share with you this interesting and challenging settlement result which involved extensive fraud investigation and enforcing IWCC subpoenas in Circuit Court.  We believe this settlement can serve as a future “roadmap” by pursuing fraud defenses as a means to mitigate potential permanent total exposures.

Case Summary Background

While working as a plumber for the Respondent, Ewing-Doherty, the Petitioner on August 24, 2011, allegedly injured his back.  Petitioner reported that he lifted a saw and subsequently twisted his back while in a bent position when he began to experience pain over the anterior aspect of the left thigh.  Unfortunately, this alleged event was not witnessed.

Thereafter, the Petitioner started treating with Dr. Freedberg on October 25, 2011.  An MRI dated April 12, 2012, revealed a left sided L3-L4 disc causing nerve root compression.  The treating physicians, Dr. McNally and Dr. Freedberg, both recommended a three-level laminotomy.  Surgery was demanded.  Also, Petitioner’s counsel was alleging that the Petitioner could no longer work as a plumber and was an “odd-lot” permanent total.

Legal/Claim Strategy

Once we heard the noted rumors that Petitioner had his own business on the side, we proceeded to hire private investigator, Don Delaney.  Mr. Delaney was able to uncover multiple facilities where the Petitioner had installed heavy equipment.  Through further investigation, we obtained the Petitioner’s company’s invoices, receipts and business checks.  We prepared and sent subpoenas to the Petitioner and his business bank for checking account information.  Petitioner’s counsel would not comply with the subpoenas issued to the Petitioner or the release of the information requested.  We had to move to have the IWCC subpoenas certified by the Commission.  Once this was accomplished, we proceeded to enforce the subpoenas in Kane County Circuit Court.

We were able to secure an order from the Kane County Circuit Court to enforce the noted subpoenas as well as for the Petitioner to sign an IRS Form 4506, which released all of the Petitioner’s tax records.  We were able to establish that the Petitioner had not paid any business taxes going back to 2008.  Furthermore, the subpoenaed bank records revealed that the Petitioner was depositing up to $20,000.00 per month into his business accounts.

By showing that the Petitioner was earning substantial steady income, we were able to take away the TTD exposure for the three years ($103,896.00), eliminated any permanent total exposure ($756,049.56), and avoided fusion surgery ($80,000.00).  Total estimated exposure computed to $939,945.56.

Case Settlement Significance

Through the use of the private investigator, we exposed the Petitioner’s fraudulent ways and we were able to secure a reduced settlement of $120,000.00.  By doing so, we were able to avoid the cost of fusion surgery and trial litigation costs.  We believe that this excellent settlement result establishes that a diligent and persistent fraud investigation can greatly reduce or even eliminate an employer’s permanent total exposure.

If you wish to discuss further, please feel free to contact the undersigned or Private Investigator Don Delaney at (630) 480-9107 or email

Very truly yours,