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Lauren Serafin
Hennessy & Roach
Chicago
partner
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology, May 2005 (Summa Cum Laude), University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign
  • Juris Doctor 2008, Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Chicago, IL
  • Bronze Tablet University Honors
  • Admitted to Practice in Illinois and Federal Court 2008

Professional Affiliations:

  • Member of The Chicago Bar Association
  • The Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Association
  • Member of the Disability Management Employer Coalition
  • Phi Beta Kappa

Social Affiliations:

  • Legal advocate for Safe Humane Chicago

Practice Areas:

  • Defense of Workers’ Compensation claims in Illinois.

Significant Arbitration/Commission Decisions

1. Christopher Kurowski v. Madison Warehouse (09 WC 45534)

The Petitioner sought benefits claiming while in the workplace, he injured his lumbar spine. His physician believed that the work injury aggravated a pre-existing condition that required a lumbar fusion. Respondent denied the claim on causation. The Arbitrator held that his lumbar spine condition was not causally related to the work accident and denied benefits, including the fusion surgery.

2. Gonzalo Alonzo v. Quality Terminal Services (05 WC 03241, 06 WC 41652, 07 WC 12621)

The Petitioner sustained several compensable injuries relating to his lumbar spine, right shoulder and left knee resulting in numerous surgeries. Respondent denied ongoing benefits based upon the argument that the Petitioner’s FCE restrictions did not preclude him from returning to his usual and customary line of employment. Petitioner’s attorney was seeking maintenance benefits as well as a finding of a wage differential based upon the argument that he could not perform his normal job duties. At trial, Respondent impeached Petitioner’s testimony resulting in him admitting he could perform his normal job duties, thus reducing the claim’s value to favorable Section 8(d)2 benefits.

3. Richard Jones v. City of Chicago (05 WC 14432)

Petitioner sustained a compensable work accident to his cervical spine. He argued that he was permanently and totally disabled based upon opinions from his treating physician as well as Vocational Expert testimony. Respondent argued that he was entitled to wage differential benefits based upon restrictions outlined by its Independent Medical Evaluation physician and the finding of a stable labor market by its Vocational Counselor. At trial, Respondent presented evidence from its Vocational Expert as well as surveillance footage documenting Petitioner’s ability to carry his child as well as drive his vehicle. The Arbitrator not only found Petitioner’s testimony not credible based upon the surveillance, but also found that he was not medically permanently and totally disabled nor was he permanently and totally disabled based upon an “odd lot” theory of liability. Instead, she found that he was entitled to wage differential benefits outlined by Respondent’s Vocational Expert.

4. Daniel Orozco v. Madison Warehouse (09 WC 40824)

Petitioner sustained a compensable work accident to his bilateral feet and ankles. The later argued that lumbar spine injuries resulted from the work accident based upon the mechanism of injury. Respondent denied causation for the lumbar spine condition and treatment that resulted in approximately $900,000.00 in outstanding medical bills. The Petitioner proceeded on an 8(a) and 19(b) hearing to receive a spinal cord stimulator implant and additional pain management treatment, as well as temporary total disability benefits. At trial, Respondent used the opinions of an Independent Medical Evaluation physician to dispute causation and Utilization Review reports to dispute a portion of the outstanding medical bills. The Arbitrator found entirely in Respondent’s favor finding that causation was not established and therefore, all benefits were denied.

5. Maria Elena Gomez v. Speedway Super America, LLC. (11 WC 03723, 14 IWCC 0444)

Petitioner sustained a compensable work accident to her lumbar spine. Respondent’s Independent Medical Evaluation physician found that she sustained a lumbar strain that resolved, and her treating physician recommended ongoing care that included a fusion surgery. At issue was $442,429.82 in outstanding medical bills as well as temporary total disability benefits. The Arbitrator found and the Commission affirmed that Respondent’s Independent Medical Evaluation physician’s opinions were more credible than the Petitioner and her physician. Therefore, the Commission found that her ongoing treatment was excessive and unreasonable and denied any ongoing benefits.

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