Chute, O'Malley, Knobloch & Turcy - January 2020



Chute O’Malley Knobloch & Turcy




BUILDING A MEANINGFUL CAREER By Protecting Our Tradespeople and Workers

(773) 906-4063

on the others. Especially for our prior clients, we’re very willing to put ourselves out there with you, even on the cases that aren’t a sure bet. Recently, I worked on a case with a client from Guatemala who was injured on the job here in the U.S. His case was denied by his employer, so he went home to Guatemala and got the treatment he needed,

Growing up, I was immersed in union culture. My dad was an elevator mechanic, and we were always around other tradespeople. It was thanks to my summer job with the union that I earned enough money to pay for my first year of law school. Because of my upbringing, workers’ comp was a natural fit for me. I know what’s at stake for people working in trade jobs, and I am passionate about protecting them. Serving as the president of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Bar Association several years ago was a chance to focus on the importance of continuing education in the legal field. Once an organization oriented toward golf outings and Christmas parties, we adjusted our focus, organized monthly brown-bag- lunch seminars covering Continuing Legal Education (CLE) topics, and established an accredited CLE program that still operates to this day. The State of Illinois requires attorneys to participate in a rolling two-year legal program. Over two years, you need to amass 30 hours of continuing education. Members of the association can now access enough free continuing education that they’ll meet and surpass the state requirements. It’s a very popular program now in its 12th year of existence. I’d say it’s probably one of our bigger accomplishments as an organization: We have a self-sustaining, self- accredited education program in place for our members. It feels meaningful to have been part of developing that. After leaving my previous firm to join Tom Chute, I continued to focus on workers’ comp cases, with a large percent of our clients working in the building and construction trades. Everyone wants big cases that make money, but one of the things we’ve focused on since day one is helping the little guy. We don’t cherry-pick or go after only the cleaner cases, passing

Naperville Office 475 River Bend Road Suite 101 Naperville, IL 60540 Chicago Office 218 North Jefferson Suite 202 Chicago, IL 60661


paying out of pocket. He came back to the U.S. to continue working and looked for a lawyer to represent him. All his medical records were in Spanish, and no one wanted to take on his case. Well, I liked the case and I liked the guy, so I took it. I had his medical records translated to English, provided them to his employer, and sure enough, our perseverance paid off. We had his case settled for the full value when no one else wanted to touch it. That’s what our work is about — fighting for those who are brushed aside and fighting for the little guy on the playground who doesn’t have anyone else looking out for them. Beyond getting the fair compensation that a client deserves, we want to make sure they’re put back together again. I’m here to ensure that happens.

–Phil Turcy


Chute, O’Malley, Knobloch & Turcy |

CTRL, ALT, DELETE YOUR CLUTTER Tips for National Clean Up Your Computer Month

you use water or liquid cleaning products on them, be sure they are completely dry before placing them back into your computer.

Organize Your Files Naming and arranging the files on your computer in such a way that they’re easy for you to find can end up saving you a lot of time. Declutter your workspace by creating one file for pictures, one for Word documents, one for spreadsheets, and one for programs to eliminate the hassle of frantically searching for the files you need. Back Up Your Computer Be sure to back up your computer before you start deleting things. This acts as a safety net in case you delete something you didn’t mean to. Additionally, consider installing a second hard drive. The extra space can help with storing important files without having to worry about how much room is left. Clean Up Space Any files you’ll never use again should be deleted. Likewise, any programs you haven’t used in a while should be uninstalled. Check your hard drive for files that might be taking up unintended space on your computer. And remember to empty the recycling bin — it’s easy to forget just how much goes in there.

Everyone relies on technology. Computers, laptops, tablets, and phones are staples of modern life. However, it’s easy for these devices to become cluttered with old photos, files, and general disorganization. Luckily, January is National Clean Up Your Computer Month and an excellent time to get your technology in order. Start by Dusting Over time, computer towers can become clogged with dust, which creates additional, unwanted heat within your computer. Regular cleanings will increase the lifespan of your computer and protect its essential components. Compressed air is great for removing most of the dust and other particulates. If the fans or filters are too dirty, you can remove them from the tower to clean them better. If


How One Judge Lost a Frivolous Lawsuit and His Dignity

that the cleaners had to satisfy a customer’s wishes without limit. Based on those arguments, he claimed the signs were fraudulent.

After the initial allegations, the dry cleaners scoured their business to find the pants and, to their credit, found the judge’s trousers untarnished. Even so, Pearson argued that he didn’t need to prove the pants were lost or damaged to satisfy his “satisfaction guaranteed” claim. Unfortunately for the judge, the court found his position to be ridiculous and ordered him to pay the dry cleaner’s attorneys’ fees. In response, Pearson sought that his own attorneys’ fees be covered to oppose this motion. In the end, Pearson did pay the dry cleaner’s legal fees, but the case isn’t the only thing he lost. The verdict also cost the judge his job and any semblance of professional dignity. Ten years after the case closed, the District of Columbia Board on Professional Responsibility sought a 90-day suspension. As the board put it, Pearson “failed to conduct an objective appraisal of the legal merits of his position. He made and continues to make arguments that no reasonable attorney would think had even a faint hope of success on the legal merits.” From a legal standpoint, we’d call this judge’s behavior “dissatisfaction guaranteed.”

After losing an article of clothing from a dry cleaner, most would say “c’est la vie” and move on. At most, someone might leave a bad review and ask for a few dollars to cover the loss, but for one administrative law judge, that wasn’t enough. He decided instead to launch an all- out legal battle. Roy Pearson, a Washington, D.C., judge at the time, sought $54 million to cover the loss of his pants after his dry cleaner lost them. He argued that the “same-day service” sign located in the window of the dry cleaners meant that the company had to provide same-day service. However, Pearson never specified a specific time he needed his clothes returned. He also insisted that the “satisfaction guaranteed” sign meant


Chute, O’Malley, Knobloch & Turcy |


Fighting for Our Clients’ Access to Medical Treatment

Unlike many other states, Illinois laws give injured workers preference in choosing their medical provider. This was a hard-fought battle at one time. Can you imagine putting your life in the hands of a doctor chosen by an insurance company that is always going to do whatever they can to cut costs? It’s a scary prospect. Fortunately, we have long enjoyed the right to choose out own treaters. Unfortunately , one of the concessions made in the years since has been shifting decision-making power for medical access into the hands of the insurance company. Now, quite often, a doctor outside of the state of Illinois with only a review of your medical records at his disposal is making decisions on treatment without examining or meeting the injured worker. They make decisions from surgery to physical therapy and everything in between. You are entitled to 100% of your medical care needs in a workers’ comp case, and if an insurance company is trying to put up roadblocks, we’ll help you fight them. We are here to make sure you are made whole again. If you or a loved one is being denied or delayed medical care by the insurance company, contact our law firm now and let our experienced, compassionate team fight this fight for you.

There’s a constant battle we face in workers’ compensation cases in Illinois: maintaining our clients’ access to medical care.

According to workers’ comp law in Illinois, an injured worker is entitled to reasonable and necessary medical treatment. But who’s to say what’s reasonable and necessary? In the past, it was the doctor’s opinion that counted. In the last 10 years, however, the statute was amended, and the weight of answering that question lies heavily in the hands of the insurance company.



Inspired by Nom Nom Paleo


• • • •

1 cup chicken broth 8.5 oz coconut milk

• •

2 tbsp coconut oil

4 leeks, white parts only, thinly sliced 6 cloves garlic, minced

Kosher salt

• •

Freshly ground black pepper

1 28-oz can roasted and diced tomatoes (Muir Glen Organic is a good brand)

Directions 1. In a skillet over medium heat, sauté leeks in coconut oil until softened and translucent, about 7–10 minutes. 2. Add garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds. Remove from heat. 3. Meanwhile, in a blender, purée entire can of tomatoes, including juice, until smooth. 4. Add sautéed leeks and garlic and purée again. 5. Transfer purée to a saucepan and add chicken broth and coconut milk. Bring to a boil, then drop to simmer and cook for 10 minutes. 6. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve.


218 N. Jefferson, Ste. 202 Chicago, IL 60661



TRIAL ATTORNEYS Chute O’Malley Knobloch & Turcy WHAT’S INSIDE llc

1 2

AWord From Phil Turcy

Enter 2020 With an Organized Computer

The Curious Case of Roy Pearson’s Pants

Fighting for Our Clients’ Access to Medical Treatment


Easy Tomato Soup


Chicago Events


Spending the Cold Months Together in Chicago The holidays are finally over, but that doesn’t mean your family has to spend less time together. Keep up the winter cheer by making time to attend your community’s storytime reading events, watching live basketball games, or spending an evening with your partner at a local live jazz concert! thousands of other fans. Attending the game is the perfect way to show in-person support for your favorite local NBA team this season. Pick up tickets at

An Evening With Jazz Bassist Kelly Sill and Drummer Jack Mouse Jan. 31; 8–10 p.m. Madden Theatre, Naperville Live jazz improvisation is a distinct artistic experience that is intertwined with the history and culture of Chicago. Give yourself and loved ones a relaxing evening with a live jazz concert. The Chicago jazz scene mainstay Kelly Sill and worldwide acclaimed drummer Jack Mouse will be playing together, followed by fellow members of North Central College’s highly esteemed jazz studies program. Purchase tickets at !

Have a Family Play Date: Wednesday Storytime Jan. 8, 15, and 22; 10:30 a.m. Barnes & Noble at E. Chicago Ave, Naperville

Perfect for young children, this event gives your family an ideal opportunity to get out of the house. Your kids can have fun with the community during the free Wednesday Storytime at Barnes & Noble. Listen to the latest children’s stories of the year and help foster your child’s curiosity for reading and learning. You can pick out books you both enjoy and participate in fun activities after the reading is done!

Chicago Bulls vs. San Antonio Spurs Jan. 27; 7 p.m. United Center, Chicago

Catch the Bulls live as they go up against the Spurs on home turf! Skip out on the YouTube highlights and experience the game with


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