Illinois Court Lacked Jurisdiction Over Claim For Additional Workers' Compensation Benefits Following Settlement Of Common Law Claim
Plaintiff was injured in a vehicle accident while working. Plaintiff filed a common law action against the other driver, and her employer intervened in the case to protect its workers' compensation lien. Plaintiff settled for $650,000 and the employer was reimbursed $190,112.89 for benefits they had paid which was 75% of the total lien amount. Plaintiff then sought additional workers' compensation benefits which the employer denied. Plaintiff filed suit seeking a declaratory judgment against his employer, and the employer filed a counterclaim. At a hearing, the trial court determined it did not have jurisdiction and dismissed the case.
The Fifth District affirmed. Subject matter jurisdiction cannot be waived, stipulated or consented to by the parties. The legislature vested exclusive jurisdiction in the Industrial Commission over matters involving an injured worker's rights to benefits under the Act as well as an employer's defenses to claims under the Act. Bradley v. City of Marion, 2015 IL App (5th) 140267.