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Case Law Update: Claims in Workers’ Compensations Cases

Freeman United Coal Mining Company v. Van Houten, No. 4-07-0905WC (9-29-08) affirmed that although Workers’ Compensation Commission’s findings that claimant proved that deceased minor suffered disablement within two years of his last exposure to mining dust, and that exposure to coal dust is a causative factor in his death, are not against the manifest weight of the evidence, its holding that the decedent’s claim abated by virtue of his death pursuant to Section 8(h) of the Act is error. That claim should proceed as if the claimant had not died. This will have a great impact on workers’ compensations cases.