The workers comp docket was up slightly between 1998 and 2005, as the Court decided twenty-three cases: four in 1998, three in 1999, four in 2000, one in 2001, three in 2002, two in 2003 and 2004 and four in 2005.
The distribution of cases between plaintiffs’ wins from the Appellate Court and defendants’ wins was about the same as it was from 1990 to 1997. Between 1998 and 2005, the Court decided nine cases which were won by plaintiffs at the Appellate Court and fifteen cases won by defendants.
Defendants who had won at the Appellate Court had a tough time defending their wins at the Supreme Court between 1998 and 2005. Winning defendants won three cases while losing ten.
Plaintiffs who won at the Appellate Court were just slightly above .500, winning six cases between 1998 and 2005 while losing five.
Combining these two tables, we find that overall between 1998 and 2005, defendants won eight workers comp cases while losing sixteen.
Next, we look at the specific issues the Court decided in its workers compensation cases. Between 1998 and 2005, the Court decided eleven cases involving procedural issues, seven involving compensability, three involving the powers and structure of the Workers Compensation Commission and three involving liens and credits against recoveries.
Next, we review the individual Justices’ voting records. Justice McMorrow cast nine votes for defendants in workers comp cases, Justices Freeman and Fitzgerald cast eight votes each, Justice Miller cast seven votes, Justice Garman cast six votes, Justice Thomas cast five, Justices Rathje and Kilbride cast four apiece, Justices Bilandic and Heiple cast three votes each, and Justices Harrison and Karmeier cast two votes each.
Justice Freeman led with fifteen votes against defendants. Justices McMorrow and Harrison voted against defendants fourteen times each. Justices Bilandic, Heiple and Kilbride voted against defendants eight times apiece. Justice Garman voted against defendants six times. Justices Miller, Nickels, Fitzgerald and Thomas voted against defendants four times each. Justice Rathje voted against defendants three times and Justices Rarick and Karmeier did so twice each.
Join us back here next week as we continue our review of the Court’s workers compensation cases.