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Gassner v. Raynor Manufacturing Co.

Illinois Appellate Court
948 N.E.2d 315 (2011)


Facts

Gunther Gassner (plaintiff) worked for Raynor Manufacturing Company (RMC) (defendant). While at work, Gassner fell down the stairs, injuring his back. Gassner incurred a staph infection resulting from surgery to repair his back injury. Gassner and RMC signed a settlement contract, in which Gassner released RMC from all claims, save for RMC’s agreement to pay for “treatment to the low back causally related to the alleged injury.” After the execution of the contract, the staph infection spread to Gassner’s heart, resulting in significant medical costs. Gassner sued RMC after it declined to pay these medical costs. RMC argued that the settlement contract did not require RMC to pay for the staph infection. Rather, RMC argued that the requirement applied only to the low back in the “muscular-skeletal, chiropractic” sense. Gassner argued that because the staph infection remained localized in his back, RMC was required to pay for treatment for the staph infection, generally, including the spread to the heart. The trial court granted RMC summary judgment. Gassner appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Jorgensen, J.)

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