A federal grand jury has issued a subpoena for records spanning six years of Chicago’s workers’ compensation program.
The subpoena was issued to the Finance Committee of Chicago’s City Council. Alderman Edward M. Burke is the chair of the committee, and has authority over how workers’ compensation claims against the city are processed and settled.
The subpoena requests records for the city’s $115-million-dollar workers’ compensation program from 2006 forward, including reports of injuries, investigations and denials of claims, medical records, prescriptions and work restrictions.
The subpoena also requests the names of staff members on the Finance Committee who handle individual claims, the claims they administered, whether they were approved or denied and what policies guided those decisions.
The subpoena was issued shortly after Burke denied Chicago’s Inspector General, Joe Ferguson, access to city workers’ compensation databases. Burke said that the matter fell under the jurisdiction of City Council’s own inspector general.
Chicago’s workers’ compensation program came under fire in 2006, when an investigation revealed an unusually high injury rate. The program for sanitation workers, police officers and firefighters were subject to particular scrutiny as areas of potential abuse. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has vowed to reduce the system’s expenses by $15 million or more, and said that he welcomes oversight and investigation of the program from any source.
Paul Greenberg is a Chicago workers’ compensation attorney and Chicago workers
compensation lawyer with Briskman Briskman & Greenberg. To learn more call
1.877.595.4878 or visit http://www.briskmanandbriskman.com/.