Findings Support Worker’s Claim That His COPD Was Work-Related

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The Appellate Court of Illinois, Fourth District, recently considered the denial of a workers’ claim for workers’ compensation benefits where the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission concluded that his Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease was caused solely by his cigarette smoking. In Gross v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, No. 4-10-0615WC, at issue was whether the claimant’s COPD was caused, in part, by his inhalation of coal dust while working as a coal miner.

At the hearing, the Commission gave the testimony of an expert witness expert witness, Dr. Renn, great weight and accepted his testimony, offered on behalf of Gross’ employer, that the claimant’s COPD was caused solely by his smoking habit. The intermediate appellate court agreed and upheld the Commission’s conclusion that Gross’ COPD was unrelated to his work as a coal miner.

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