SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) –  Experts have different explanations for numbers showing $41 million in workers’ compensation awards went to employees at just 12 state facilities in four years.

An analysis by The Associated Press found a cluster of work sites in southern Illinois accounted for a third of all on-the-job injury payments to state employees from 2007 through 2010.

Andrew Nalefski is a former arbitrator deciding long-term impairment in injury cases.

He says the state did too little to defend against claims.

Chicago workers’ comp lawyer Gene Keefe says the state is too understaffed to combat them.

Anne Spillane is chief of staff to the Illinois attorney general.

She counters that the state vigorously defended claims but state law makes it fairly easy to show work contributed to an injury that deserves state compensation.



Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed


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