Significant Cases

The Law Offices of Peter F. Ferracuti, P.C. has a long and celebrated history of fighting for the rights of the injured. Our office has achieved many significant changes in the law in the fields of Workers' Compensation and Personal Injury law, advantageous to workers and injured persons.

Gruszeczka v. The Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission, 2013 IL 114212 (2013).

The Supreme Court of Illinois ruled for our client that the "mailbox rule" applied to appeals from the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission to the circuit court. The ruling brings consistency to the appeals process and reduces the chance for filing errors for practitioners.

Dye v. Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission, 2012 IL App (3d) 110907WC (2012).

The Appellate Court, Workers' Compensation division, ruled in our favor, holding that our client was entitled to prospective medical care for a disfigurement the employer tried to argue was too minimal to matter.

Jacobo v. Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission, 2011 IL App (3d) 100807WC (2011).

The Appellate Court, Workers' Compensation division, ruled for our client, holding that the employer was liable for penalties and fees for failure to pay the part of an award that was no longer in dispute on appeal. The Court made clear that any undisputed benefit must be promptly paid or the employer faced penalties. The case resulted in a substantial award of penalties and fees against the employer.

Smith v. Kaupas, (3d Dist. 2010).

The Appellate Court ruled for our client, overturning the Circuit Court and holding that the Will County Sheriff's policy regarding entrance into the Will County Courthouse was unconstitutional for violating the equal protection clause of the Illinois Constitution.

Hagemann v. Illinois Workers' Compensation Com'n, 399 Ill.App.3d 197 (3d Dist. 2010).

The Appellate Court ruled for our client, overturning the decisions of the Workers' Compensation Commission and the Circuit Court, holding that our client 's case should not have been dismissed without further examination by the Commission regarding whether our client's work was either extraneous or fundamental to an agricultural enterprise.

Gurnitz v. Lasits-Rohline Services, Inc., 368 Ill.App.3d 1129 (3d Dist. 2006).

The Appellate Court ruled for our client, holding that under §19(g) of the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act, our client was entitled to a permanent total disability award of $741.45 per week for life, instead of $410.43 per week for life.

Flynn v. Industrial Com'n, 211 Ill.2d 546 (2004).

The Supreme Court of Illinois ruled for our client, holding that when a claimant is concurrently employed, all of his earnings must be considered when calculating wage differential under statute governing amount of compensation which shall be paid for accidental injury not resulting in death.

Gallianetti v. Industrial Com'n, 315 Ill.App.3d 721 (3d Dist. 2000).

The Appellate Court ruled for our client, holding that (1) claimant suffered loss of earning capacity, entitling him to wage-differential award, rather than a percentage-of-the-person-as-a-whole award; and (2) evidence supported duration of temporary total disability award.

Smith v. Industrial Com'n, 308 Ill.App.3d 260 (3d Dist. 1999).

The Appellate Court ruled for our client, holding that (1) evidence was sufficient to establish that claimant's partial incapacity prevented her from pursuing her usual and customary line of security supervisory officer employment, for purposes of wage differential claim, and (2) claimant's actual earning capacity, based on her functional impairment, was that of a senior watch person, for purposes of wage differential claim, even though employer had artificially raised her wages.

Countryman v. Industrial Com'n, 292 Ill.App.3d 738 (2d Dist. 1997).

The Appellate Court ruled for our client, holding that specific provisions of the settlement agreement, listing specific injuries and accident dates, overrode agreement's general release of claims to date of settlement, and thus agreement did not bar separate back injury claim.

State Medical Ins. Services, Inc. v. Cichon, 258 Ill.App.3d 803 (3d Dist. 1994).

The Appellate Court ruled for our client, holding that patient's psychological injuries from alleged sexual abuse by doctor were covered by medical malpractice policy as "personal injury".

Traveler's Ins. Co. v. Webster, 251 Ill.App.3d 46 (3d Dist. 1993).

The Appellate Court ruled for our client, holding that inconsistencies in victim's pretrial statements and trial testimony did not require reversal of trial court's judgment, and trial judge understood and applied correct standard of proof, which required female victim to prove by preponderance of evidence that male victim was driver at time of accident.

Simpson v. Byron Dragway, Inc., 210 Ill.App.3d 639 (2d Dist. 1992).

The Appellate Court ruled for our client, holding that material issues of fact, precluding summary judgment, existed as to whether collision with deer was reasonably foreseeable risk which had been incurred by driver who signed exculpatory agreement; and material issues of fact, precluding summary judgment, existed as to whether owner's alleged failure to take proper precautions to insure that animals did not wander on track, constituted wanton and willful negligence.

Auto Owners Ins. Co. v. Miller, 138 Ill.2d 124 (1990).

The Supreme Court of Illinois ruled for our client, holding that automobile insurance policy exclusion for vehicles "furnished for regular use" to named insured did not apply to accident occurring while pickup truck entrusted to insured by employer for use in driving to and from home and work was being used to return from golf outing.

Silica Sand Transport, Inc. v. Industrial Com'n, 197 Ill.App.3d 640 (3d Dist. 1990).

The Appellate Court ruled for our client, holding that (1) evidence supported Industrial Commission's finding that claimant was loaned employee and that sand company was borrowing employer for workers' compensation purposes; (2) sand company, as borrowing employer, was liable for payment of claimant's workers' compensation benefits; and (3) sand company failed to establish undue prejudice from defective notice of injury.

Adams Truck Lines v. Industrial Com'n, 193 Ill.App.3d 814 (3d Dist. 1990).

The Appellate Court ruled for our client, holding that (1) determination of Industrial Commission reversing decision of arbitrator and finding that claimant suffered work-related injury when he hurt his back while throwing empty pallets out of back of trailer portion of truck was not against manifest weight of evidence, and (2) Industrial Commission is not limited to reversing decision of arbitrator as to compensability only in cases where decision is against manifest weight of evidence.

Ludwig v. Industrial Com'n, 192 Ill.App.3d 729 (3d Dist. 1989).

The Appellate Court ruled for our client, holding that evidence concerning worker's stressful working conditions and his physical exertion on date prior to his death was sufficient to establish causal connection between worker's employment and his fatal myocardial infarction.

Christman v. Industrial Com'n, 180 Ill.App.3d 876 (3d Dist. 1989).

The Appellate Court ruled for our client, holding that (1) claimant's intervening work-related back injury did not cut off his right to receive temporary total disability benefits for prior work-related knee injuries; and (2) evidence supported imposition of statutory penalty of $2,500 based on employer's unreasonable delay in paying benefits.

Casey v. E.J. Cattani & Son Gravel, 133 Ill.App.3d 18, (3d Dist. 1985).

The Appellate Court ruled for our client, holding that (1) main criterion for determining that driver was an "employee" of lessor was fact that lessor did not relinquish control over driver to steel construction contractor; (2) driver was an "employee" of lessor and not a "loaned employee" of contractor; (3) evidence presented jury question as to whether truck was moved, without warning and contrary to safe procedure, by driver without express direction from contractor's foreman; and (4) failure to assess comparative negligence to worker was not error.

Leonard by Leonard v. Pitstick Dairy Lake and Park, Inc., 124 Ill.App.3d 580 (3d Dist. 1984).

The Appellate Court ruled for our client, holding (1) whether particular type of diving known as surface or horizontal is dangerous when performed in portion of lake intended for wading and swimming was a matter where expert opinion was helpful and should be permitted; (2) defense counsel's improper argument in reading a book which had not been admitted, coupled with erroneous exclusion of plaintiff's expert testimony was prejudicial error; and (3) evidence of custom and practice in trade of beach operations was properly the subject of expert testimony.

Interlake, Inc. v. Industrial Com'n, 95 Ill.2d 181 (1983).

The Supreme Court of Illinois ruled for our client, holding (1) Industrial Commission's finding that employee's death resulted from accident arising out of and in the course of his employment was not against the manifest weight of the evidence, and (2) even though decedent's widow remarried prior to arbitrator's and Industrial Commission's decisions to award her lifetime benefits, for her use and for the care of her children, she was entitled to these benefits until she dies, in that she did not remarry at a time when none of the decedent's children were entitled to support.