Industrial Commission of Illinois
City of Jacksonville Police Department,
No. 00 WC 069029; 03 IIC 0036
2003 Ill. Wrk. Comp. Lexis 160
January 17, 2003
Timely Petition for Review having been filed by the Petitioner herein and notice given to all parties, the Commission, after considering the issues of accident, causal connection, temporary total disability, permanent partial disability and medical expenses and being advised of the facts and law, affirms and adopts the Decision of the Arbitrator, which is attached hereto and made a part hereof.
It is therefore ordered by the Commission that the Decision of the Arbitrator filed November 29, 2001 is hereby affirmed and adopted. …
Jacqueline A. Kinnaman
Illinois Industrial Commission
City of Jacksonville
Case # 00 WC 69029
An Application for Adjustment of Claim was filed in this matter, and a Notice of Hearing was mailed to each party. The matter was heard by the Honorable Ruth White, arbitrator of the Industrial Commission, in the city of Jacksonville, on October 11, 2001. After reviewing all of the evidence presented, the arbitrator hereby makes findings on the disputed issues circled below, and attaches those findings to this document.
C. Did an accident occur that arose out of and in the course of the petitioner's employment by the respondent?
F. Is the petitioner's present condition of ill-being causally related to the injury?
J. Were the medical services that were provided to petitioner reasonable and necessary?
K. What amount of compensation is due to Temporary Total Disability?
L. What is the nature and extent of the injury?
On August 25, 2000, the respondent City of Jacksonville was operating under and subject to the provisions of the Act.
On this date, an employee-employer relationship did exist between the petitioner and respondent.
On this date, the petitioner did not sustain injuries that arose out of and in the course of employment. …
of this injury.
Claim for compensation is denied.
The Petitioner, a 30 year old man, was employed by the Respondent as a police officer on August 25, 2000. The Petitioner alleges his work activities caused him to develop bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome.
The Petitioner first sought medical treatment with Dr. Bohan on August 25, 2000. The notes indicate "c/o wrist pain. Has numbness in his hands and wrists. Sx have been present for six months though worse in the past month. Right hand is greater than the left. Patient wakes with nocturnal pain. States he can no longer lift weights and is unable to golf." (Pet. Exh 2) There is no mention of work activities. (Id.)
Dr. Bohan referred the Petitioner to Dr. Werries who initially examined him on October 2, 2000. Again, that history does not mention his work activities. (Pet. Exh. 1) The Petitioner underwent bilateral carpal tunnel releases performed by Dr. Werries on October 20, 2000 and November 17, 2000. (Pet. Exh. 4 & 5) The Petitioner was released to return to work with no restrictions on December 23, 2000 and released from care as of January 24, 2001. (Pet. Exh. 7, 12) The Petitioner testified he did return to work and he has continued to work his regular duties since December 23, 2000.
With respect to C and F, the Arbitrator finds as follows:
The Petitioner testified his job duties involve patrolling the streets of Jacksonville and responding to calls for service. He testified he types inter-office memos, traffic narratives and uses a computer in the patrol car. The Petitioner testified he drives approximately five hours per day; however, the petitioner testified he does not drive with his hands in a fixed position. He also testified he does stop occasionally and he is not constantly driving for five hours.
The Petitioner also testified regarding how often he fires his gun. He testified there is no longer a practice range, and he only has to qualify twice a year to maintain his status. He also testified he has never had to fire his gun in the line of duty.
The Petitioner testified the amount of typing he does varies, but he estimated one to two hours per day. He admitted he did not go back and specifically count the number of reports he prepared in the year prior to the time he sought medical treatment.
Respondent's Exhibit 2 sets forth the Petitioner's job description and physical demands. The only area the Petitioner disagreed with was the number of e-mails sent per shift, which he believed was low. Adding up the pages typed according to Respondent's Exhibit 2, for the prior year, the Petitioner typed approximately 80 pages all year.
Dr. Crandall examined the Petitioner at the Respondent's request, and he and Dr. Werries both testified via deposition. Dr. Werries testified driving for extended periods of time and shooting a gun have a relationship to carpal tunnel. He testified holding the arm in either a flexed or extended position for an extended period of time can decrease the carpal tunnel. (Pet. Exh. 7, 13) He also testified the vibration and backfire of shooting a gun repeatedly could irritate the median nerve. (Id. 14) However, Dr. Werries testified he did not review the Petitioner's job description. (Id. 25) He also testified he was not sure of the frequency of how often the petitioner shoots his gun. (Id. 20) Dr. Werries also testified lifting weights, riding a motorcycle and golfing can cause carpal tunnel. (Id. 21)
Dr. Crandall testified on behalf of the Respondent. Dr. Crandall testified the surgery was appropriate for the diagnosed condition, but he disagreed with Dr. Werries' opinions regarding causation. (Resp. Exh. 1) Dr. Crandall testified the Petitioner's diagnosis and treatment were not related to his work as a police officer. (Id. 9) Dr. Crandall also testified driving is not a risk factor for carpal tunnel. (Id. 10)
Dr. Crandall testified all types of activities can be added together to cause cumulative trauma, but it must be equivalent of repetitive movement and stress every two to three seconds for over four hours a day. (Resp. Exh. 1, 26) Dr. Crandall also testified in his opinion the Petitioner's police work did not cause his carpal tunnel. (Id. 31)
The Arbitrator notes the Petitioner's job duties consisted of driving, light typing, hand writing reports and occasional firing of a gun. No single activity was prolonged or hand intensive. In addition, the Arbitrator notes the Petitioner's hobbies of motorcycle riding and weight lifting.
Based on the Petitioner's description of his job, Respondent's Exhibit 2 and the medical testimony, the Arbitrator finds the Petitioner failed to prove he sustained an accident which resulted in an injury which is causally related to his employment. Therefore, the Petitioner's claim for benefits is denied.