Attorney sued over work comp case denies allegations

A Belleville attorney accused of mishandling a client's workers' compensation claim is denying allegations and demanding a jury trial. According to the complaint filed on Aug 16, Barbara Boda claims she worked for Broadspire, an insurance company, in October 2009 when she got into a car crash on the job. She alleges she had to undergo surgery to fuse lumbar discs in her back due to her injuries. Then, in July 2010 Boda claims she hired defendant Jason R. Caraway and the Kolker Law Offices to represent her in an Illinois Workers’ Compensation claim, the suit states. Boda claims Caraway prepared a settlement contract in August 2011 and advised her to take 36 percent of her original claim. However, Caraway allegedly failed to recognize that agreeing to the settlement without including an addendum to amortize the Social Security disability benefits Boda was already receiving would eliminate those benefits. She also alleges Caraway settled the claim for an insufficient level of disability and failed to consider a wage differential that would have resulted in a higher settlement. The defendants filed an answer to the complaint on Sept. 13 through attorneys Mark D. Bauman and Adam B. Rucker of Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP in Belleville. The defendants admitted that they made a settlement offer of 36 percent to the plaintiffs and submitted Settlement Contracts for approval to the Illinois Industrial Comission . They deny all other allegations against them. They also argue that the plaintiff alleges she was an employee of Broadspire, but that they do not have true knowledge of the facts and demand strict proof. The defendants filed a motion for a substitution of judge on Sept. 26. The case was originally assigned to St. Clair County Circuit Judge Robert LeChien. It has not yet been reassigned. LeChien scheduled a mandatory status conference for Nov. 12 at 9:30 a.m. Boda seeks a judgment of more than $100,000. Boda is represented by attorney William K. Meehan of University City, Mo. St. Clair County Circuit Court Case No.13-L-430

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