Today, we’re beginning a new area of law in our analysis of the Justices’ handling of workers compensation cases, beginning with the years 1990 to 1997.
From 1990 to 1997, the Supreme Court decided twenty-one workers comp cases – three in 1990, one in 1991, two each in 1992 and 1993, six in 1994, two each in 1995 and 1996 and three in 1997.
Did the Court incline more towards plaintiffs’ wins or defense wins from the Appellate Court for its workers comp docket? For the years 1990 to 1997, the Court decided eight cases which the plaintiffs won at the Appellate Court to thirteen cases won by the defendant.
Defendants who won before the Appellate Court won six cases before the Supreme Court between 1990 and 1997 while losing seven.
Plaintiffs who prevailed in these cases at the Appellate Court had a rough time between 1990 and 1997, winning one while losing seven.
Between 1990 and 1997, defendants won thirteen workers compensation cases at the Supreme Court and losing eight.
During these years, the Court’s workers comp cases were largely procedural. The Court decided thirteen cases involving procedural issues, four related to compensability, three involved issues of liens and credits against the judgment, and one case apiece related to workers comp exclusivity and the power and structure of the Workers Compensation Commission.
Justice Miller cast the most votes for workers compensation defendants during these years – fourteen votes. Justice Heiple cast thirteen votes. Justices Freeman, McMorrow and Nickels cast eleven votes in all. Justice Bilandic cast ten votes. Justice Harrison cast six votes, Justice Moran cast three, Justice Clark cast two and Justices Stamos, Ryan, Calvo and Cunningham cast one vote apiece.
Justice Harrison led the Court in votes against workers comp defendants with nine. Justices Miller, Bilandic and Freeman cast seven votes each. Justice Heiple cast five votes, Justices McMorrow and Nickels cast four votes each, Justice Clark cast three votes, Justices Stamos, Ryan and Moran cast two votes apiece. Justices Calvo and Cunningham supported defendants only once.
Join us tomorrow as we continue our review.