Ironworker secures permanent disability benefits for fingertip injury
Robinson v. Mechanical and Industrial Steel, 18 ILWCLB 121 (Ill. W.C. Comm. 2010).
Ruling: The Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission reduced the permanent disability award from 35 percent to 20 percent loss of use of the claimant's left index finger.
What it means: Evidence that a claimant experiences pain in his finger from a serious laceration, he guards his finger from contact at work and at home, he has high sensitivity in the finger, and he experiences coldness in the fingertip sufficiently supports an award for 20 percent loss of use.
The claimant, a journeyman ironworker, was working as a ground man on a crew of five men using a crane to hoist 100-pound joists. As he reached to align a joist, a coworker shoved it, catching his left index finger and ripping the tip off. A medical clinic's records noted a 4-centimeter laceration of the fingertip. He was released to return to work with limited use of the left hand. At a follow-up examination, the claimant complained of pain inside his fingertip. He testified that he received no medical care since that time and continued to work as an ironworker. He noticed himself guarding his finger at work and at home. He experienced pain when he grabbed things or struck his finger against an object. Further, he testified that he experienced coldness in the fingertip. In addition, he stated that his doctor "talked him out of" seeing a hand surgeon despite his desire to do so. Based on this evidence, the commission determined that the claimant lost 20 percent of the use of his left index finger.
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November 22, 2010
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