An injured worker’s worst nightmare has allegedly come true for a former construction worker in Illinois earlier this month. Craig A. Adkins claims he was wrongfully terminated from his job after filing a workers’ compensation claim for injuries he sustained while on the job. He has since filed a lawsuit on Oct. 29 in Madison County Circuit Court against his employer, The Killian Corporation.

Adkins reportedly worked for the Killian Corporation from 2005 to 2011 before sustaining injuries on June 27, 2011 while working on a construction project on Interstate 55. Following the accident, Adkins informed his supervisor of his injuries before receiving a phone call from Mike Morris, his safety director.

Morris informed Adkins he had the option of visiting an urgent care facility and paying for treatment with cash or he could file a workers’ compensation claim. The lawsuit further states that if Adkins visited the urgent care clinic he would be on light duty, or he could file a workers’ compensation claim and face more costs.

When Adkins chose to visit his family physician and pursue the workers’ compensation claim, Morris reportedly called Adkins to say, “So you’re going the work comp route? This is going to complicate things.”

Complicate things it did. After receiving medical treatment, the Killian Corporation would not pay total temporary disability benefits and also wouldn’t allow him to return to work.

Adkins filed a lawsuit against the Killian Corporation seeking over $100,000 in lost wages, compensatory damages, and benefits, as well as over $50,000 in punitive damages.

“There is a causal connection between plaintiff’s exercise of his rights under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act and defendant’s termination of plaintiff’s employment,” the lawsuit states.

Creating a nightmare situation such as this one is illegal and unfair to the employee. It is also rather confusing considering that workers’ compensation is an insurance that employers are required to purchase in order to continue paying injured workers who are unable to work while they recover. It’s appalling that an employer in the construction industry would be so skimpy and behave with blatant disregard to the law in this kind of case.

Nevertheless, had Adkins engaged the services of an attorney before his initial filing, his case may have gone very differently. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney would have seen directly through all of the Killian Corporation’s unlawful actions or even served as a deterrent that would’ve prevented the corporation from behaving unfairly in the first place. Regardless, the company had to have known its actions were illegal and therefore earned the punishments mandated upon it.

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