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Railroad Cited for Safety Violations in Fatal Train Crash

March 30, 2012  ·  By HM&M



The following letter to the editor by ITLA President Christopher T. Hurley appeared in Crain’s Chicago Business on December 5, 2016.

Gov. Bruce Rauner disingenuously claims that he'd like a balanced approach to improving workers' compensation (“Bruce Rauner: My case for workers' comp reform”), but demands that workers, especially those nearing retirement age, bear the financial brunt of his proposed changes.

In truth, Illinoisans already forfeited longstanding rights as part of the 2011 changes to Illinois workers comp' laws – the same legislation that prompted a steep jump in insurance companies' profits without a concurrent fall in the cost to employers, due to the state's lax regulation of workers' comp insurers.

The governor's effort to cut the number of injured workers eligible to receive benefits would only shift the price of workplace injury to taxpayers. Workers are consumers and business customers, too. Reducing their economic wherewithal and forcing them to seek charity medical care only ensures that the rest of us will collectively absorb the costs that should instead be covered by a robust workers' comp system.

The governor has said Illinois should emulate Indiana. But he ignores the fact that wages are a primary driver behind an employer's workers' comp expenses – and that Illinoisans earn more than Hoosiers (something most of us view as a positive). He also glosses over the morally repugnant discrepancy in how much less Indiana values serious injuries. As Crain's recently reported, a lost thumb is worth $108,584 under Illinois law while Indiana offers less than half that amount.

The first step towards fixing our state's economy is for the governor to rectify his ongoing failure to enact a budget – a feat accomplished by all of his predecessors, Republicans and Democrats. Thereafter, the reform agenda he should be focusing on is safer workplaces and stricter oversight of workers' comp insurers, not further eroding injured workers' rights.

Christopher T. Hurley

President, Illinois Trial Lawyers Association

March 30, 2012

Transportation Department Proposes Anti-Rollover Requirement for Trucks

Women who suffer from stress urinary incontinence (SUI) or pelvic organ prolapse (POP) may be implanted with transvaginal mesh (TVM), a medical device that gives added support when weakened or damaged tissue is being repaired. According to statistics, up to 70,000 women have this medical device implanted each year, illustrating a reliance on TVM to... Read More

March 30, 2012

Federal Regulators Call for Mandatory Brake Override System

In response to the deadly crash and subsequent recall of millions of Toyota and Lexus automobiles due to unintended acceleration, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is proposing that all automakers be required to design a brake-throttle override system into future vehicles. These override systems would prevent unintended accelerations by automatically releasing the throttle when... Read More

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