Heyl Royster

Antonacci and Bitzer Protect Client From Liability for Six-Figure Knee Surgery

Posted on October 5, 2023 at 10:00 AM by Brad Antonacci, Kristina Bitzer

Heyl Royster attorneys Brad Antonacci and Kristina Bitzer recently teamed up to successfully defend their client's interests at the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission and the Illinois Appellate Court.

In this case, the petitioner sustained three work-related accidents—one while working for a prior employer and two while working for Heyl Royster's client. At the Commission, Antonacci successfully argued that the petitioner's need for a total knee replacement resulted from his first accident rather than the accidents he sustained while working for Heyl Royster's client, reversing the arbitrator's decision on this issue.

Before the five-justice panel of the Workers' Compensation Division of the Illinois Appellate Court, Bitzer argued that the petitioner's first accident set into motion a chain of events that ultimately caused the need for his total knee replacement and, for that reason, the petitioner's subsequent injuries did not completely break the chain of causation between his first accident and his current condition of ill-being. The Court agreed and affirmed the Commission's decision, thus placing liability for the petitioner's knee surgery on his first employer.

Working out of the firm's Chicago office with extensive experience defending hundreds of employers before the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission, Brad Antonacci concentrates his practice solely on Workers' Compensation. Throughout his career, Brad has arbitrated claims, argued reviews before the Commission, and appealed Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission decisions before the circuit court.

Kristina Bitzer joined Heyl Royster's Rockford office after graduating summa cum laude from Northern Illinois University College of Law in 2022. Before law school, Kristina enjoyed a decade-long career as an underwriter for multiple prominent property and casualty insurance carriers. This background gives her a broad understanding of all aspects of the insurance relationship, uniquely positioning her to serve her clients. With an innate interest in all things healthcare, Kristina focuses her practice on medical malpractice and other insurance defense matters. 

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