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Illinois must reform workers’ comp

LETTER: Illinois must reform workers’ comp


From the State Journal-Register:  The president of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association recently opined about workers’ compensation and sought to deflect blame rather than focusing on the problem. The most telling part of Christopher Hurley’s letter is that he does not deny that Illinois companies face the seventh highest cost of workers’ compensation in the U.S.

Illinois businesses pay 27 percent more for workers’ compensation insurance than the average state, according to the nationally recognized Oregon study. Let’s talk about fairness in the system.

Is it fair that employers must pay for 100 percent of the cost of an injury even if they are not primarily responsible for the accident? Illinois should create a causation standard so businesses only pay for their proportional share of an accident, similar to auto insurance.

Is it fair that Illinois surgeons get paid 369 percent more for performing a procedure covered by workers’ compensation than the identical same surgery paid for by Medicare?

Is it fair that Illinois businesses pay $470,000 for an arm injury when the national average is only $170,000?

Recently, the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association successfully interjected into a court cause and will now get paid 25 percent of an injured worker’s future medical benefits. State law gives trial attorneys a contingency fee so they make more money when cases are more expensive.

Since June 2009, Illinois manufacturing job growth is flat, while our Midwest neighbors combined have created more than 300,000 manufacturing jobs. It’s time for real reforms to encourage job growth in Illinois.

Mark Denzler


The writer is vice president and chief operating officer of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association.