St. Clair County employee set to receive $116K work comp claim; Salary in '07 topped $80K

Christina Stueve Dec. 16, 2011, 11:58am


An office manager at the St. Clair County Circuit Clerk's office is set to receive more than $116,000 from a workers' compensation claim that alleges her job caused her to develop carpal tunnel syndrome.

Jean Brown, 57, who has been employed by the county for 25 years, also is the daughter of former long-time elected Circuit Clerk Barney Metz who retired from office in 2008.

Court records show that Brown, whose annual salary in 2007 was $80,998, will receive $116,545 because of her work-related injuries. In her application for benefits, she claimed both hands, wrists and both arms were affected by repetitive tasks.

Brown told the Record on Friday that she had no comment.

She filed a claim in the court's miscellaneous remedies division on Sept. 11 seeking enforcement of her work comp claim.

Associate Judge Stephen McGlynn signed an order Nov. 30, affirming an Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission decision reached on Dec. 21, 2010.

Brown is in charge of operating and testing the computer systems in the circuit clerk's office. Her job requires her to use a computer about 90 to 95 percent of the day, according to court documents. She also files and takes notes. She testified these activities caused her to engage in repetitive use of her hands and arms.

According to the court file, Brown stated that a gradual onset of pain and numbness in both upper extremities worsened to the point that it would wake her up at night.

She also noted decreased grip strength in her hands, difficulty holding objects, pain in her right arm from her elbow down to her fingers, pain and numbness in the right hand and pain and numbness in the left hand, court documents say.

She started seeing a doctor on Nov. 15, 2007 and had surgery on Feb. 27, 2008, court documents say.

The commission's arbitration decision says that as a result of the accidental injuries which manifested on Nov. 15, 2007, Brown sustained 20 percent permanent partial disability to her right arm, 20 percent permanent partial disability to her right hand, 20 percent permanent partial disability to her left hand and 2.5 percent permanent partial disability to her left arm.

The case is St. Clair County Case 11-MR-195.

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