Illinois taxpayers are picking up the tab for legal fees, now that one state agency is fighting with another over the release of medical records relating to efforts to reach settlements (also at taxpayers’ expense) with employees of yet another state agency who say they were injured on the job.
Attorney General Lisa Madison has ordered CentralServices (CMS), the state agency that processes workers’ compensation payments, to turn over records relating to 230 claims from correctional officers at Menard State Prison. The claims cover repetitive stress injuries allegedly linked to the locking mechanisms on the cells at the prison.
Settlements to the various officers—to be paid with taxpayer dollars—could hit $10 million. Individual settlements will range from $20,000 to $150,000.
But nothing is going to happen until CMS turns over its medical records, and it’s resisting. CMS claims the files are proprietary. Now it has hired the internationally known (and high-priced) law firm of Holland and Knight to fight Madison’s order.