Meet our team
Dedicated to protecting your rights.
Kurt has been fighting for clients for over three decades in Illinois, focusing on workers compensation claims, personal injury claims, maritime claims and labor issues. He has tried a huge number of cases to verdict over his career, pursuing awards through any level of appeal necessary to protect the rights of his clients.
Kurt has handled an exceptionally wide range of cases for clients, including traumatic brain injury claims, repetitive trauma claims, heart attack claims, cancer claims, and a variety of occupational disease and occupational exposure claims. He has represented clients from all segments of the workforce, including teachers, stylists, clerks, tradespeople, professors, lawyers, nurses, doctors, airline pilots, baggage handlers, pharmacists, police officers, truck drivers, firefighters, longshoremen and seamen.
Kurt is one of a handful of attorneys in the nation who linked brain cancer to an exposure of electromagnetic radiation in a workplace. He was also the first lawyer in the state to establish that maritime law applied to riverboat casino workers. He has also won some of the largest penalty and fee awards against insurance companies who were mishandling injured worker's claims.
Kurt has recovered many tens of millions of dollars for clients over his career. A sampling of cases include:
- a $2,399,000 recovery for an Ohio truck driver injured in Illinois. This case required litigation in both Ohio and Illinois
- $1,700,000 plus hundreds of thousands in medical expenses for a different truck driver who fell while exiting her cab
- $2,060,000 for an injured tradesman
- $1,063,000 for the family in the electromagnetic radiation case plus hundreds of thousands in medical expenses
- $ 1,000,000 in a combination of benefits for a Sheriff’s deputy who returned to his job
On rare occasions, Kurt has agreed to step into cases for clients who were not happy with their original lawyers. Examples of those cases include:
- $2,399,000 for the Ohio truck driver after a respected Chicago firm abandoned the case after they recovered a $100,000 insurance policy
- $500,000, lifetime medical and hundreds of thousands more in medical bills for a hernia injury, where three established Chicago workers' comp firms were pushing him to settle for $17,000
- The electromagnetic radiation case
- $323,766 and lifetime medical rights for a worker whose prior lawyer was trying to settle the case for $5,000
On the labor front, Kurt and Kim Presbrey fought through federal, state and arbitration forums to delay the shutdown of a local manufacturing operation, extending work for hundreds of workers and costing the employer $20,000,000 in the process.
Kurt actively protects the rights of victims through publications, professional memberships and practice in the appellate and supreme courts. He has authored numerous articles for lawyers on worker’s compensation and maritime topics, including book chapters on wrongful discharge claims and maritime injuries, and has lectured to lawyer groups at a variety of seminars. He is a member of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association (ITLA), the Appellate Lawyers Association, the Kane County Bar Association, the Worker’s Compensation Lawyers Association and the federal trial bar.
Kurt has also been protecting our workers' comp system from constant assault by businesses, lobbyists and insurance carriers. Kurt's Amicus briefs have contributed to favorable rulings in each important workers' comp case over the last 20 years:
Sisbro v Industrial Commission, 207 Ill.2d 193 (2003)- This ruling eliminated arbitrary hurdles which had blocked workers from accessing benefits and medical care.
Interstate Scaffolding v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, 236 Ill.2d 132 (2010)- This ruling severely limited which excuses an employer can use to cut off survival payments to workers.
Corn Belt v. Lind- This case blocked a coordinated effort by business groups to gut the workers’ compensation system.
West Bend Insurance Co v. Bernardino, 2020 IL 124690 - This case blocked insurance companies from using the circuit court to freeze workers' comp claims in their tracks.
McAllister v. Northpond, 2020 IL 124848 - This ruling knocked out an arbitrary legal doctrine which threatened to exclude half of the workforce from workers' comp protections.
Armstead v National Freight 2021 IL 126730 - This ruling reversed an appellate court's misapplication of an equitable doctrine against the injured worker.
McDonald v Symphony Bronzeville 2022 IL 126511 - This ruling defeated a concerted effort by businesses, lobbying groups and insurance carriers to strand their victims without remedies.
First Elevator v Bucaro 2022 IL App (1st) 210477WC - This ruling defeated a second unsuccessful effort by business groups, lobbyists and insurance carriers to take billions of dollars away from injured workers.