Heyl Royster

Bell and Moore Obtain Favorable Decision at Illinois Workers Compensation Commission

Posted on July 17, 2023 at 2:00 PM by Jessica Bell

The petitioner was a nearly 20-year employee who worked in a factory packaging xanthan gum, a food thickening agent. As described by the petitioner at trial, xanthan gum is packaged in powder form and has a consistency similar to baby powder/talcum powder. The petitioner alleged at trial that due to his years-long exposure to xanthan gum, he suffered a litany of injuries, including loss of hearing, damage to his lungs which now requires a CPAP machine, gastrointestinal issues, and chronic sinus infections. He further alleged his noise exposure at the factory caused permanent hearing loss. 

The arbitrator ruled in respondent’s favor and found petitioner failed to prove an accident that arose out of and in the course of his employment, and that his condition of ill-being was not related to his employment. The arbitrator agreed with respondent that there was insufficient evidence to establish hearing loss from either alleged noise levels or xanthan gum exposure. The arbitrator further agreed with respondent that there was no credible, expert medical opinion relating any of petitioner’s conditions to his exposure to xanthan gum, or his employment.

Jessica Bell joined the firm in 2015 with extensive Workers' Compensation defense experience, having appeared before the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission representing employers and insurance companies across the state. 

Joseph Moore practices in central and southern Illinois and has over a decade of experience handling Workers' Compensation claims, frequently appearing before the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission and handling cases as a petitioner's attorney representing injured workers. 

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