Meet our team
At Porro Niermann Law Group our lawyers are dedicated to protecting your rights.
Kurt has been practicing in northern Illinois for 28 years, focusing on workers compensation claims, personal injury claims, maritime claims and labor issues. Kurt is licensed to practice in the state court system, federal court system and state administrative forums. He has tried a large number of cases to verdict over his career, pursuing awards through any level of appeal necessary to protect the rights of his clients.
He has handled a wide range of workers compensation issues, including isolated trauma claims, repetitive trauma claims, heart attack claims, cancer claims, a variety of occupational disease claims and occupational exposure claims. He has been honored to represent clients from all walks of life, including workers from most trades, lawyers, doctors, airline pilots, police officers, truck drivers, firefighters, longshoremen, seamen and a wide range of other occupations.
Kurt is one of a handful of attorneys nationwide who successfully linked a client's brain cancer to electromagnetic radiation. He was the first lawyer in the state to establish that maritime law applied to riverboat casino workers. He also obtained one of the largest penalty and fee awards against a misbehaving employer in a workers' compensation case.
Kurt has secured many tens of millions of dollars for clients over his career. Examples of these cases include:
- $ 2,399,000 recovery on behalf of an Ohio truck driver who was injured while traveling through 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 the cab.
- $2,060,000 for an injured tradesman.
- $1,063,000 in benefits for the family in the electromagnetic radiation case, plus hundreds of thousands in medical expenses.
- $ 1,000,000 in a combination of policies and benefits for a Sheriff’s deputy.
The worker’s compensation system was designed to limit the range of values for cases. However, the right lawyer can still have a significant impact on the success of your case. On rare occasions, Kurt has agreed to take over cases for clients who are unsatisfied with the performance of their present law firm.
- Kurt took over the Ohio truck driver’s case after a respected Chicago firm abandoned the case after recovering the $100,000 insurance policy from the driver who hit the truck.
- Kurt stepped into a separate case which had languished for a decade in the hands of three established Chicago workers comp firms. The collective efforts of those firms resulted in total offer of $17,000. Kurt worked the case up, obtaining $500,000 in permanency benefits, payment of many hundreds of thousands of dollars for medical bills and securing lifetime medical coverage for the client.
- Kurt became involved in the electromagnetic radiation case when multiple premier Chicagoland personal injury firms were unwilling to take a risk on the case.
These case results do not guarantee any result in future cases.
On the labor front, Kurt fought through federal, state and arbitration forums to delay the shutdown of a local manufacturer’s operations, extending employment for hundreds of workers and costing the employer a reported $20,000,000 in the process.
In addition to his trial work, Kurt is active in preserving 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 he has lectured to lawyer groups at a variety of seminars. He is a proud member of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, the Kane County Bar Association, the Worker’s Compensation Lawyers Association and the federal trial bar.
Kurt also regularly authors friend of the court briefs for the supreme court, seeking to protect the rights of all injured workers in Illinois. Highlights of his work include:
Sisbro v Industrial Commission, 207 Ill.2d 193 (2003)- Kurt and his partner Michelle Porro participated in a successful group amicus effort in this landmark case. The case established that employers and insurance carriers could not use arbitrary legal doctrines to limit the extent of medical care they would need to provide to injured workers.
Interstate Scaffolding v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, 236 Ill.2d 132 (2010)- Kurt authored the successful amicus brief in this important case on behalf of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association. This case established that employers could not fabricate excuses to cut off an injured employee’s workers compensation payments.
Corn Belt v. Lind- Kurt helped to defeat a coordinated effort by pro-business groups to eviscerate the workers’ compensation system. Kurt drafted the opposition briefs convincing the Supreme Court to throw out the employer’s attack on the system. Check out the defense attorney’s spin on its loss here.
West Bend Insurance Co v. Bernardino, (Case No. 124690) - Kurt again authored the successful amicus brief for the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association in this case, knocking out a legal doctrine which insurance companies were using to stop workers comp cases in their tracks.
McAllister v. Northpond, (Case No. 124848) - Kurt also recently filed the amicus brief on this potential blockbuster of a case. Kurt is challenging a different legal doctrine which threatens to exclude thousands of workers from our workers comp system. Kurt had appealed these same issues in 2018 to the United States Supreme Court in Faust v. Cadence Health.