Tammy Paquette concentrates her practice in the area of workers’ compensation and has more than 20 years of experience in the field. At Nyhan, Tammy represents employers in complex cases before the commission and works tirelessly to protect the interests of her clients including but not limited to multinational automobile manufacturers, municipalities, hospitals, and consumer goods corporations.
Prior to joining the firm, Tammy was a partner at a Midwest-based defense firm for more than 10 years as well as served in a national workers’ compensation and general liability claims firm, a boutique personal injury and workers’ compensation firm, and a full-service litigation firm.
She is an active member of the Worker’s Compensation Law Section of the Illinois State Bar Association and is a regular guest speaker and presenter with various claims teams, risk consultants, and at safety conferences.
- Illinois State Bar Association
- Member of the Workers’ Compensation Law Section
- Author, “Appellate Court Affirms the Decision of the Commission Finding that the Decision was Not Against the Manifest Weight of the Evidence, a case summary of Durable Packaging v Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, 2023 IL App (1st) 2023 230086WC-U” ISBA Workers’ Compensation Newsletter, 2023.
- “Handling Review Hearings involving 19(h) and 8(a) issues: Perspectives from Commissioners and Attorneys,” IICLE 10th Annual Workers’ Compensation Institute, 2023
- “Employment Activities and Actively Engaged? An Overview of the McAllister Decision,” 2020
- “Controlled Substances in the Workplace,” 2020
- “It’s Better to Avoid Risk But Tips for Minimizing When You Can’t,” 2019
- “Settlement Strategies,” 2015
- “Drugs, Alcohol and a Pinch of Fraud,” 2015
- “The Need to Knows of Illinois Work Comp,” 2014
- “AMA Developments,” 2014
- “Lunch and Learn: Recent Developments in AMA’s,” 2014
- “PPP’s,” 2013
- “Workers’ Compensation Fraud: What constitutes Fraud, what to do when you think you have Fraud and what cases have actually been prosecuted,” 2013
- “Appellate Court Decisions in 2012/AMA Ratings,” 2013
- “Adjuster 101; Average Weekly Wage,” 2010
- “Adjuster 101,” 2009
- Represented a multinational automobile manufacturer in an arbitration in which the petitioner claimed repetitive trauma injuries to her bilateral upper extremities due to her work on the production line. An investigation revealed that the petitioner had prior bilateral hand/wrist complaints and a recommendation for carpal tunnel surgery. The arbitrator found the petitioner did not prove a compensable accident, was not credible, and denied all claims for compensation; this decision was later confirmed in the Circuit Court.
- Represented a major airline company in an arbitration in which the petitioner alleged she developed RSD/CRPS from a crush injury to her right foot. The respondent obtained an IME who opined the petitioner had reached MMI less than a year after the accident and was not suffering from RSD. The petitioner alleged that she was permanently and totally disabled and claimed in excess of $300,000 in outstanding medical. The arbitrator awarded 25% of the foot and denied all medical and TTD; the petitioner filed a review, pro-se, to the Commission, which was dismissed on Tammy’s motion.
- Represented a major airline company in an arbitration in which the petitioner sustained a compensable accident when he slipped while carrying a bucket and reported complaints to the point he alleged he could do nothing. The respondent obtained an IME who opined the petitioner needed injections and possibly surgery to the low back. Surveillance was obtained in the interim which showed the petitioner riding his motorcycle for extended periods of time, pushing a lawn mower, and lifting/bending. The IME doctor then opined the petitioner had sustained a low back strain and was at MMI. The arbitrator found that while the petitioner had sustained a compensable accident, he failed to establish his complaints were related to the work accident and was not credible based on the surveillance and denied benefits.
- Represented a computer consultant in an arbitration in which the petitioner sustained a compensable accident while he was working as an electrician and injured his left hand, after which the respondent obtained an IME who found the petitioner was at MMI. The petitioner argued that he should be awarded a wage differential as his treating physician opined he could not go back to work as an electrician; however, the arbitrator found the respondent’s IME credible and awarded the petitioner 15% loss of use of the left hand, noting the respondent was entitled to a credit for the PPD advances made. The case was closed out on settlement contracts for $5,000, approximately the value of the arbitrator’s award.
- Represented a Chicago-based general contracter in an arbitration in which the petitioner was a union cement mason who sustained a back injury for which he had permanent restrictions. The respondent obtained an IME who found the petitioner was magnifying his symptoms and could return to work full duty; as a result, benefits were terminated. When the case was tried, the respondent not only argued the petitioner was full duty, based on the IME, but also argued in the alternative that even if the petitioner had restrictions, he was not entitled to wage differential benefits as he admitted to smoking marijuana and could not pass a pre-employment drug screen and secure employment. Based on this, the respondent took the position that the petitioner’s actions sabotaged his chances of gaining employment elsewhere and he was, therefore, not entitled to a wage differential. When the case was tried before the arbitrator, the petitioner was seeking penalties and wage differential benefits in excess of $550,000; the arbitrator found the petitioner did not present credible evidence to establish entitlement to wage differential benefits and awarded 35% man as a whole. The case is currently on remand to the Commission from the Circuit Court for clarification.
- Represented a multinational consumer goods corporation in an arbitration in which the petitioner, who was an adjunct professor at a state college, was paid a stipend for her work at a dental convention but not an hourly wage. On day one of the convention, prior to picking up her credentials and manning the booth, she slipped and fell, injuring her shoulder. The arbitrator found that the petitioner failed to establish the respondent was operating under and subject to the Workers’ Compensation Act and also failed to establish an employer-employee relationship existed. Based on this, benefits were denied; the Commission affirmed this decision.
- Represented a healthcare staffing agency in an arbitration in which the petitioner sustained a compensable accident when she slipped and fell, after which she continued to treat with pain management and attempt to allege she aggravated her pre-existing CRPS despite additional treatment being denied based on the opinions of two IME doctors. Although the case was tried on an 8(a) for ongoing medical treatment, the arbitrator found she was at MMI for an ankle sprain and awarded 5% of the foot; the Commission affirmed the arbitrator’s decision.