Couple sues to finalize workers' comp claim

By Dan Harkins | Jun 24, 2015

A man and his wife are suing to iron out a workers' compensation claim that's been ongoing since 2009.

According to a lawsuit filed April 27 in Madison County Circuit Court, Earnest and Jessica Bates, both of St. Louis, filed a complaint against Robert Scott Forbes, of Edwardsville.

Earnest Bates, formerly employed by Olin Winchester Corp. in East Alton, was having legal services performed by the defendant. Then, on July 15, 2009, Bates was walking from the parking lot of his former workplace when he was struck by a moving car, suffering serious injuries, which included a pelvic fracture, tibia fracture, ruptured diaphragm, femoral fracture, fibula fracture, humerus fracture, transverse process fractures of three vertebrae and had his spleen removed.

Bates was hospitalized for 2.5 months, and was then transferred to an in-patient rehabilitation center. He stayed there for two years. When he was released, the lawsuit states, Bates underwent six months of out-patient rehabilitation. Since then, he's had an aneurysm, kidney issues and a stroke, all allegedly caused by the collision.

Bates had retained Forbes to be his counsel, so, on May 18, 2010, an arbitrator for the Workers' Compensation Commission decided that Bates had indeed been injured in a workplace injury.

The lawsuit states that the arbitrator ordered for him to receive $481.86 a week for temporary disability benefits, for a period of 37 weeks, starting on July 15, 2009. However, the complaint states, an appellate court decision decided that Bates was not entitled to the award laid out in the May 2010 decision. This appeal is being filed due to the alleged fact that, had Forbes filed receipt of payment on time by March 23, 2011, Bates would have been entitled to $383,077.07, plus interest.

The plaintiff seeks a jury trial and damages in excess of $200,000, plus costs.

The plaintiff is represented by attorney Andrew M. Lammert of McCarthy, Leonard and Kaemmerer in Town and Country, Mo.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 15-L-524.

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