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Christopher Jarchow
Hennessy & Roach
Chicago
partner

Christopher represents employers and insurance carriers in matters involving workers’ compensation claims throughout Illinois. Christopher’s practice includes various levels of the litigation process, ranging from initial investigation of claims and settlements to high profile appeals through the Illinois Appellate Court.

 

Christopher received his law degree from the John Marshall Law School in Chicago, Illinois. While a law student, Christopher worked with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office and successfully litigated several felony narcotic trials under an Illinois Supreme Court 711 License. At John Marshall Christopher also served as a staff editor for The John Marshall Journal of Computer and Information Law and competed in the Gibbons Criminal Procedure Moot Court Competition.

 

Christopher received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana. While at Valparaiso Christopher was a member of the Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science Honor Society. Christopher was also an executive board member of Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity.

 

Christopher currently resides in Frankfort, Illinois with his wife and two daughters.

 

Education:

The John Marshall Law School, Chicago, IL

  • Juris Doctor, 2013

 

Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, IN

  • Bachelor of Arts – Political Science, 2009

 

Professional Affiliations:

  • Member of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Association

Practice Areas:

  • Defense of Workers’ Compensation matters

 

 

 

 

APPELLATE COURT DECISIONS

  1. Terry Noonan v. City of Chicago; 2016 IL App (1st) 152300WC – Published Decision

Petitioner was employed as a clerk who alleged a work accident that occurred while reaching for a pen that had fallen on the floor from his desk. While reaching for the pen, the rolling chair slipped out from underneath him, causing an injury to Petitioner’s wrist. Petitioner testified that there was nothing unusual or defective about the rolling chair or his work environment, and that the chair simply rolled out from underneath him. The arbitrator and Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission found that the act of reaching for a pen was not sufficient to establish that the injury arose out of Petitioner’s employment, noting that Petitioner was not exposed to a risk greater than the general public.  The arbitration and Commission decision was affirmed by both the Circuit Court and Appellate Court.

 

  1. Anthony Murff v. City of Chicago; 2017 IL App (1st) 160005WC – Published Decision

Petitioner was working an accommodated job for a permanent work restriction. After the case proceeded to an Arbitration hearing in 2013 and the final award was paid, Respondent was no longer able to accommodate the work restrictions. After the timeline to file an appeal of the arbitration decision had lapsed, Petitioner filed a petition to modify the arbitration award pursuant to Section 19(h) and 8(a), arguing for a modification of his award due to an increase in his economic disability. Petitioner was seeking maintenance, vocational rehabilitation, and potential wage differential benefits. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission denied Petitioner’s petition to modify the arbitration award, reasoning that petitioner’s physical disability had not increased. The Circuit Court and Appellate Court affirmed the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission decision denying petitioner’s demand for maintenance and vocational rehabilitation. The Appellate Court reasoned that the phrase “increase in disability” in the language of Section 19(h) refers exclusively to physical or mental disability and specifically excludes economic hardships.

 

  1. Jetton Richard v. USF Holland; 2019 IL App (1st) 181389WC-U

Petitioner was involved in a trucking accident while in the employ of Respondent as a long-haul driver. At trial Petitioner sought authorization for an invasive cervical surgery and nearly five years of back temporary total disability benefits. Though initially awarded at arbitration, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission denied the request, finding that Petitioner merely suffered a cervical strain and awarded only eight months of temporary total disability benefits. The Commission’s decision was affirmed by the Circuit Court of Cook County and Illinois Appellate Court. Following the initial trial decision, indemnity and medical exposure was likely to exceed $1,000,000.00. Following the Commission’s reversal, exposure is reduced to approximately $15,000.00 – $20,000.00.

 

 

 

 

  1. Barbara Miller v. City of Chicago; 19 IWCC 0243; 1-19-1951WC

Petitioner claimed she was injured at work when she was required to pack and move boxes during an office move. Given a number of inconsistences during her testimony, the arbitrator found that claimant was not credible and denied her claim in its entirety. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission affirmed the denial on review. The claimant filed an administrative review to the Circuit Court of Cook County. The Circuit Court Judge granted Respondent’s Motion to Dismiss for Want of Subject Matter Jurisdiction. Petitioner filed an Appeal to the Illinois Appellate Court who affirmed the Circuit Court’s dismissal.

 

  1. John Johnson v. City of Chicago; 2018 IL App. (1st) 18-0094WC-U

Petitioner alleged both a knee and low back injury when he tripped over a raised bolt on the floor while making repairs on a City garbage truck. The Commission and Appellate Court found that the lumbar condition was not related to the injury. The Commission and Appellate Court also found that the claimant did not put forth a diligent effort in vocational rehabilitation and awarded TTD and maintenance credit of approximately $162,500.00. Petitioner was seeking a life time of wage differential benefits which would have likely exceeded $500,000.00. After the TTD and maintenance credit, the total award to the claimant is $35,314.94.

 

  1. Patrick O’Kane v. City of Chicago; 2018 IL App. (1st) 171654WC-U

Petitioner claimed his work injury caused a reduction in his earning capacity, thereby entitling him to a wage differential award. The Circuit Court of Cook County found that Petitioner’s earning capacity was a mere $8.25 per hour. The Appellate Court found the Circuit Court’s improperly calculated the wage differential award and remanded the claim back to the Commission for further analysis. On remand the Commission found the true earning capacity was $11.12 per hour, thereby reducing the overall wage differential exposure.

 

  1. Demetrius Triplett v. R.A. Shavitz, Inc.; 2019 IL. (1st) 190647WC-U

Petitioner claimed he injured his low back while lifting a heavy item. Following a significant amount of treatment Petitioner alleged he was permanently and totally disabled as a 37-year-old laborer. Adverse exposure exceeded $1,000,000.00. Petitioner refused to engage in any settlement discussions.  Petitioner refused to engage in settlement discussions. After a complex litigation history through the appellate court and on remand, the Commission found the claimant’s condition was not causally related to the work incident and denied all benefits. The Commission’s decision was ultimately affirmed by the Appellate Court.

 

 

SIGNIFICANT ARBITRATION/COMMISSION DECISIONS

 

  1. Eric Gilmore v. City of Chicago; 09 WC 53814; 17 IWCC 0374

Petitioner alleged a nose fracture and post-traumatic stress disorder resulting from a construction accident. Respondent accepted liability for the facial injury but denied liability for psychiatric complaints. Respondent also denied liability for nearly four years of temporary total disability benefits. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission and Circuit Court of Cook County affirmed the Arbitrator’s decision, denying all TTD benefits and the psychiatric condition. In so doing, Respondent avoided liability for approximately $150,000.00 in indemnity exposure.

 

  1. Daniel Benincasa v. City of Chicago; 17 WC 10689

Petitioner claimed a work injury when he struck his wrist on a steel desk. Petitioner underwent surgery to the wrist and nearly 12 months of physical therapy. The arbitrator denied the claim in its entirety, finding that Petitioner failed to prove the injury arose out of’ his employment, or that the condition was causally related to the alleged work injury.

 

  1. Sandra Watson v. Caputo’s Fresh Market; 12 WC 9588

The Petitioner was employed by Respondent as a part-time grocery cashier. Petitioner alleged she sustained a rotator cuff tear from job duties with Respondent. Petitioner denied that she suffered a specific injury but testified that her symptoms occurred as a result of her repetitive scanning duties as a cashier. Petitioner testified that she did not feel any symptoms prior to beginning her shift on the date of the alleged accident. The matter proceeded to trail before Arbitrator Mason who denied petitioner’s claim for benefits, finding that petitioner lacked credibility and failed to prove she sustained a compensable accident.

 

  1. Daniel Bane v. A. American Arborist; 12 WC 15898

Petitioner alleged he sustained an injury at work when he was struck in the low back by a tree branch. Petitioner’s supervisor testified that he was present at the job site the entire shift and did not witness petitioner’s alleged injury, nor was he aware that petitioner was alleging a work-related injury until several months later after petitioner filed an Application with the Workers’ Compensation Commission. Petitioner’s friend testified on petitioner’s behalf, stating that he witnessed petitioner’s injury from a property adjacent to the job site. The matter proceeded to trial before Arbitrator Fratianni who denied petitioner’s claim for benefits, finding that petitioner and his friend were not credible witnesses. The Arbitrator held that petitioner failed to prove he sustained an accident that arose out of and in the course of his employment.

 

 

  1. Cortney Jones v. USF Holland; 13 WC 23829

Petitioner, a mechanic, alleged he sustained an unwitnessed injury at work when his wrench slipped off a bolt, causing him to strike his elbow on a steel beam underneath the trailer of which he was repairing. Petitioner, a new employee, was still in his 90 day probationary period on the date of the injury. Petitioner did not report his injury to his supervisor until after being terminated for poor attendance. Two weeks after the alleged accident petitioner alleged a subsequent accident with a new employer to the same elbow. Petitioner demanded authorization and payment for a cubital tunnel release, and over a year’s worth of TTD benefits. Arbitrator Fruth denied the surgery and TTD benefits, finding that petitioner attained maximum medical improvement two weeks after the alleged accident. On review, the Commission affirmed Arbitrator Fruth’s decision.

 

  1. Ken Barhoumeh v. City of Chicago; 10 WC 40045; 12 WC 05993; 13 WC 01783

Petitioner alleged three separate dates of accident and demanded authorization and payment for a total knee replacement and ankle surgery. Petitioner had been treating since his date of accident in October 2010. Arbitrator Black denied prospective medical and demand for TTD, finding that Petitioner’s current condition is not causally related to any of the accidents at work. Arbitrator Black denied Petitioner’s attorney’s fees and penalties petition.  Arbitrator Black’s decision was affirmed by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission and Circuit Court of Cook County.

 

 

  1. Stephanie Figueroa v. DHL Express USA, Inc.; 21 WC 23574 – Appeal Pending

Petitioner testified she injured her low back while lifting a heavy package and started treating with a spine surgeon. A few weeks later Petitioner sustained an unrelated, but intervening motor vehicle accident and initiated treatment with a second physician who opined the intervening injury worsened her back injury. Petitioner did not report the intervening injury, nor did she disclose the intervening MRI scan to her initial physician. Petitioner was surprised with this information at trial. The arbitrator took great issue with Petitioner’s failure to disclose her intervening accident and found her not credible, denying the claim in its entirety.

 

PRESENTATIONS

January 2016

  • 2015 Year in Review: Important Developments in Illinois Workers’  Compensation Law.
    • Presented at Hennessy & Roach “Third Thursday Seminar” to various workers’ compensation claims adjusters, risk managers, and attorneys – Chicago, Illinois.

February 2017

  • IL WC Case Law Update: The Implications of Sections 19(h) and 8(a) of the Act on Post Award Benefits
    • Presented at Hennessy & Roach “Third Thursday Seminar” to various workers’ compensation claims adjusters, risk managers, and attorneys –  Chicago, Illinois.

September  2018

  • Post Trial Concerns and Appeals; Workers’ Comp Trial Bootcamp
    • Presented at Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education (IICLE) to attorneys and legal practitioners for CLE credits – Chicago, Illinois.

February 2020

  • Beyond the IME: Functional Medical Evaluations
    • Presented at Hennessy & Roach “Third Thursday Seminar” to various workers’ compensation claims adjusters, risk managers, and attorneys – Chicago, Illinois.

March 2020                

  • E-Filing:  Rules, Regulations, and the New CompFile System; Practical Skills for the Work Comp Attorney
    • Presented at Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education (IICLE) to attorneys and legal practitioners for CLE credits – Chicago, Illinois.

March 2021

  • Multi-Jurisdictional WC 101
    • Presented to various workers compensation claims adjusters – Chicago, Illinois/Webcast.

 

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