Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
The full case caption appears at the end of this opinion. JUSTICE COLWELL delivered the opinion of the court: Claimant, Michael J. McDonald, filed an application for adjustment of claimpursuant to the Workers’ Compensation Act (Act) (820 ILCS 305/1 et seq.(West 1996)) for injuries sustained while in the employment of respondent,Peabody Coal Company. McDonald, a repairman, was injured on July 23, 1996,when he fell to the ground and injured his back while attempting to tightena lug on a wheel of a shuttle car. An arbitrator awarded claimant temporary total disability benefits of$453.33 per week for 14 and 3/7 weeks (see 820 ILCS 305/8(b) (West 1996))and medical expenses of $4,729.99 (see 820 ILCS 305/8(a) (West 1996)). Onreview, the Industrial Commission (Commission) modified the award toreflect a section 8(j) credit (see 820 ILCS 305/8(j) (West 1996)), inrespondent’s favor in the amount of $4,532.72. In all other respects, theCommission affirmed the arbitrator’s decision. On February 6, 1998, respondent appealed to the Circuit Court of St. ClairCounty. On March 27, 1998, claimant filed in the circuit court a “Motionfor Attorneys Fees and Sanctions of [sic] Frivolous Appeal.” Relying onKrantz v. Industrial Comm’n, 289 Ill. App. 3d 447 (1997), claimant’s motionrequested the court to impose sanctions pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 137(155 Ill. 2d R. 137). Claimant alleged that respondent’s appeal to thecircuit court was meritless since both the arbitrator and the Commissionhad already found in his favor. Claimant further alleged that the solepurpose of respondent’s appeal was to harass him and to generate legalfees. Claimant’s motion also requested sanctions pursuant to Supreme CourtRule 375(b) (155 Ill. 2d R. 375(b)) on the ground that respondent’s appealwas improper. Claimant sought attorneys fees, costs, and penalties.Alternatively, claimant requested a remand to the Commission for theimposition of penalties pursuant to sections 16 and 19(k) of the Act. 820ILCS 305/16, 19(k) (West 1996). On May 11, 1998, the circuit court issued an order providing: “The courtwill reserve ruling on [claimant's] motion for attorneys fees and sanctionsuntil after oral arguments are heard pursuant to briefing schedule.” On October 20, 1998, the circuit court entered an order confirming thedecision of the Commission. The circuit court found that the Commission’sdecision was not against the manifest weight of the evidence. The order didnot dispose of claimant’s March 27, 1998, motion. On November 12, 1998, respondent filed a notice of appeal to this court. Onappeal, respondent argues that the Commission’s decision is against themanifest weight of the evidence because it failed to consider evidence thatcontradicted claimant’s testimony as well as his proffered medicalevidence. Initially we note that even where no party raises the question, a reviewingcourt has a duty to consider sua sponte its jurisdiction and dismiss theappeal if it determines that jurisdiction is lacking. A.O. Smith Corp. v.Industrial Comm’n, 109 Ill. 2d 52, 54 (1985). The jurisdictional statementin respondent’s brief states that its appeal is brought pursuant to SupremeCourt Rules 22(g) and 301. 145 Ill. 2d R. 22(g); 155 Ill. 2d R. 301.Generally, we have jurisdiction to decide an appeal pursuant to Rule 301,which allows appeals from final judgments. See, e.g., Flynn v. IndustrialComm’n, 302 Ill. App. 3d 695, 697 (1998); Divittorio v. Industrial Comm’n,299 Ill. App. 3d 662, 665 (1998). However, when a final judgment does not dispose of all matters presented tothe court, Supreme Court Rule 304(a) (155 Ill. 2d R. 304(a)) applies. Rule304(a) provides, in pertinent part: “If *** multiple claims for relief are involved in an action, an appeal may be taken from a final judgment as to one or more but fewer than all of the *** claims only if the trial court has made an express written finding that there is no just reason for delaying either enforcement or appeal or both. *** In the absence of such a finding, any judgment that adjudicates fewer than all the claims *** is not enforceable or appealable and is subject to revision at any time before the entry of a judgment adjudicating all the claims, rights, and liabilities of all the parties.” 155 Ill. 2d R. 304(a).

The term “claim” as used in Rule 304(a) means any right, liability, ormatter raised in an action. Marsh v. Evangelical Covenant Church ofHinsdale, 138 Ill. 2d 458, 465 (1990); Ariola v. Nigro, 13 Ill. 2d 200, 206(1958). A claim brought pursuant to Rule 137 is part of the civil action which gaverise to the claim and cannot be considered a separate action. Marsh, 138Ill. 2d at 467-68 (discussing the applicability of Rule 304(a) to a requestfor attorney fees under section 2–611 of the Code of Civil Procedure (Ill.Rev. Stat. 1981, ch. 110, par. 2-611, repealed by Pub. Act 86-1156, eff.Aug. 10, 1990), the predecessor of Rule 137). Thus, no appeal may be takenfrom a final judgment where a Rule 137 claim remains pending absent afinding pursuant to Rule 304(a) that there is no just reason to delayenforcement or appeal. Marsh, 138 Ill. 2d at 468; see also F.H. Prince &Co. v. Towers Financial Corp., 266 Ill. App. 3d 977 (1994); Berger v.Matthews, 216 Ill. App. 3d 942 (1991); Cashmore v. Builders Square, Inc.,207 Ill. App. 3d 267 (1990). Here, claimant filed a motion for sanctions pursuant to Rule 137 on March27, 1998. Claimant’s Rule 137 motion is a claim within the meaning of Rule304(a). F.H. Prince & Co., 266 Ill. App. 3d at 983. Moreover, claimant’smotion for Rule 137 sanctions is part of the underlying action. 155 Ill. 2dR. 137. A review of the record reveals that the circuit court never enteredan order disposing of claimant’s Rule 137 motion. Moreover, the record doesnot indicate that claimant withdrew his motion. Thus, the motion remainspending. Since the circuit court judgment from which respondent appealsdoes not contain language stating that there is no just reason to delayenforcement or appeal, it is nonfinal and nonappealable pursuant to Rule304(a). Therefore, we must dismiss respondent’s appeal. In conjunction with this appeal, claimant has filed with this court amotion for attorneys fees and sanctions pursuant to Supreme Court Rule375(b). We ordered that motion taken with the case. However, given ourdisposition of this appeal, we need not address claimant’s motion. Appeal dismissed. McCULLOUGH, P.J., and RAKOWSKI, HOLDRIDGE, and RARICK, JJ., concur.

PEABODY COAL COMPANY, Appellant, v. THE INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION, ET AL. (Michael J. McDonald, Appellee). No. 5-98-0759WC Ill. Ct. Ap. 5th District Industrial Commission Division Appeal from the Circuit Court of St. Clair County. No. 98-MR-54 Honorable Scott Mansfield, Judge, presiding. September 29, 1999
Reprints & Licensing
Mentioned in a Law.com story?

License our industry-leading legal content to extend your thought leadership and build your brand.

More From ALM

Premium Subscription

With this subscription you will receive unlimited access to high quality, online, on-demand premium content from well-respected faculty in the legal industry. This is perfect for attorneys licensed in multiple jurisdictions or for attorneys that have fulfilled their CLE requirement but need to access resourceful information for their practice areas.
View Now

Team Accounts

Our Team Account subscription service is for legal teams of four or more attorneys. Each attorney is granted unlimited access to high quality, on-demand premium content from well-respected faculty in the legal industry along with administrative access to easily manage CLE for the entire team.
View Now

Bundle Subscriptions

Gain access to some of the most knowledgeable and experienced attorneys with our 2 bundle options! Our Compliance bundles are curated by CLE Counselors and include current legal topics and challenges within the industry. Our second option allows you to build your bundle and strategically select the content that pertains to your needs. Both options are priced the same.
View Now

GlobeSt Net Lease Spring 2023

April 03, 2023 - April 04, 2023
New York

This conference brings together the industry's most influential & knowledgeable real estate executives from the net lease sector.

Learn More

Consulting Rising Stars of the Profession 2023

April 20, 2023
Chicago, IL

Consulting magazine is proud to recognize this unique group of movers & shakers at our annual Rising Stars of Profession awards.

Learn More

BenefitsPro Broker Expo

May 08, 2023 - May 10, 2023
Atlanta, GA

BenefitsPro Broker Expo will help attendees prepare for new issues, embrace new challenges and find new solutions.

Learn More


We are seeking an attorney to join our commercial finance practice in either our Stamford, Hartford or New Haven offices. Candidates should ...

Apply Now ›

Corporate Associate (Hybrid Schedule)

Duane Morris LLP has an opening in its Houston office for a corporate associate to join its growing practice. The ideal candidate will hav...

Apply Now ›


Morrison Mahoney LLP seeks a civil litigation insurance defense attorney for its New York City office. Areas of Concentration: ...

Apply Now ›



Aaronson Rappaport Feinstein & Deutsch, LLP mourns the loss of cofounder and original Managing Partner, Mark B. Feinstein.

View Announcement ›



Lawyers of Distinction would like to announce...

View Announcement ›



Snyder Sarno D'Aniello Maceri & daCosta would like to announce that...

View Announcement ›