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Ill. high court rules for carpal tunnel plaintiff


SPRINGFIELD, Ill.--Illinois' Supreme Court has overturned the rulings of two lower courts and the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission, which had all found that a carpal tunnel injury claim was "time barred."

In the case of Deana Durand vs. The Industrial Commission, Ms. Durand was a policy administrator for RLI Insurance Co. who spent several hours each day typing on a keyboard and first filed a workers comp claim in 2001.

The Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission, formerly named the Illinois Industrial Commission, ruled that because Ms. Durand testified before an arbitration hearing that she first experienced pain in her hands and wrists in 1997, her claim was outside Illinois' limitations period.

The arbitrator had found in Ms. Durand's favor. But RLI appealed, and a trial court and an appeals court eventually upheld the commission's decision.

But the high court ruled Thursday that Ms. Durand couldn't have immediately known she suffered a work-related injury and said it declined to penalize an employee who continued to work despite pain. The court remanded the case to the commission for further proceedings.