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Commission Marks Death of Defense Attorney Frank Wiedner

  • State: Illinois
  • Topic: NORTH
  • - Average time spent on item: 229 minutes
  • - Popular with: Insurance

The Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission this week noted the death of longtime employers' defense attorney Frank Wiedner, founder of the multistate firm of Wiedner & McAuliffe.

Frank J. Wiedner

Frank J. Wiedner
(legacy.com photo)

“The Workers’ Compensation community has lost another valued member with the passing of Frank J. Wiedner. We extend our condolences to the Wiedner family,” the commission noted in an emailed statement.

A memorial service will be held Sunday at Leonard Funeral Home in Glen Ellyn from 3-7 p.m. A funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m. Monday at St. Petronville Church in Glen Ellyn, according to Wiedner's obituary.

Wiedner, 96, died Jan. 31 at his home.

Wiedner founded the firm in 1973 in Chicago. It has grown to 75 attorneys in five states, specializing in workers' compensation defense and insurance defense. He lectured at the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education for more than 30 years and was known for his deep knowledge of workers' compensation law.

As recently as 2012, in his late 80s, he wrote a commentary about an Illinois appellate court ruling that had confounded the defense bar. In Patel v. Home Depot, the court held that the employer must pay interest and extensive attorney fees even though the company had overpaid the benefits by almost $10,000.

Wiedner wrote in a blog that the decision “may not have been the appellate court's finest hour," according to a news report at the time.

"Presuming the court completely misunderstood the employer’s position — Home Depot was not seeking a judgment against Patel, but only to avoid paying twice — it blithely rendered the payment of benefits prior to trial irrelevant," Wiedner observed.

Wiedner was born in Chicago and graduated from DePaul University and DePaul College of Law, his obituary notes. He began his law career with General Accident Insurance Co. before launching his own firm.

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