WC Magazine

OCT-NOV 2016

WC is published six time a year and covers the trends and topics of interest to professionals responsible for the cost-effective resolution of workers’ compensation claims.

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TheCLM.org October 2016 | November 2016 WC 41 ests helps us both to focus on moving forward with discussions. Beresford: I have a candid conversation with all of my outside counsel when they initially are retained. I tell them that I expect them to always be up front and tell us what we need to know and to not sugar coat anything. If we have a bad case or did not make a good decision, I would much rather know at the onset of litigation what we can address and rectify rather than finding out on the eve of hearing when it is too late. I respect defense counsel who are not afraid to tell me what I need to hear rather than what they think I want to hear. Sherman: As a defense attorney, I welcome straight-shooting discussions with my clients. I certainly expect peaks and valleys in a long-term relationship, including those with clients, and I appre- ciate honesty and integrity. Lenkov: How do you navigate between an insured and counsel who may be difficult? Koller: As a broker, it is our job to ad- vocate on behalf of the client. However, to navigate between an insured and counsel, I try to be as neutral as possible to try and understand both sides of the situation and work toward a resolution. Lenkov: What tips do you have for our readers when it comes to diffusing situations with diffi- cult people? Bleakney: Smile oen and speak soly. If at all possible, try to isolate and em- pathize with their primary motivations. Recognition of your opponent's plight oen will soen their outright resistance. Koller: I've learned that a calm, profes- sional approach works best. Listening and providing empathy usually helps diffuse situations with difficult people. I think it works best to always use facts and provide a consistent position. Beresford: Treat them how you would like to be treated and attempt to look at things from their perspective. Both sides tend to wear blinders and only see things from one perspective; it is always good to look at things from the other side of the fence. Sherman: e first thing to do is ac- knowledge their emotions and state that you would like to understand their per- spective better. You have to be the bigger person and try to supplant logic for the emotional outburst. I tell difficult people that I want to reach a common ground, but I never force them to do anything. I lay out my position, and in time we return to the discussion, hopefully with cooler heads. K Todd Beresford, Senior Manager of Workers' Compensation, Tyson Foods Inc. Todd has been involved in the insurance industry dedicated almost exclusively to workers' compensation for the past 16 years. In his current role, he is primarily responsible for man- aging the workers' compensation program for the Fresh Meats division, which encompass- es the pork, beef, and prepared foods segments. Tyson is self-insured and self-administered, so he is responsible for managing and overseeing the internal claims department as well as both in-house and outside counsel defending workers' compensation claims for Tyson. Brad Bleakney, Partner, Bleakney & Troiani; Manager, WorkComp Chicago LLC Brad has practiced almost exclusively in Illinois workers' compensation since 1984. Representa- tive clients include self-insured employers and injured workers in most types of occupations and types of work injury claims. He is very active in Illinois workers' compensation trials, settlements, appeals, workers' compensation lien subrogation, and lien negotiation. Mark Koller, Claims Advisor, Marsh Working out of Minneapolis, Mark provides claims consulting services to his clients in the areas of workers' compensation and liability exposures. He partners with clients, both in the liability and workers' compensation lines of business, to assist with identifying opportunities and controlling claims costs. Heath Sherman, Partner, Nyhan, Bambrick, Kinzie & Lowry Heath has handled all aspects of workers' compensation litigation for 18 years. He has tried numerous cases before the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission and has argued cases on appeal at the Commission, Circuit Court and Appellate Court levels. In addition to workers' compensation, he has a national product liability practice and has successfully handled cases on behalf of domestic and foreign clients in state and federal courts in multiple jurisdictions. Meet the Panel

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