Thomas J. Misurek
Tom Misurek is a senior associate with Jardine, Logan & O’Brien, P.L.L.P., practicing principally in:
- Workers’ Compensation Defense
- Workers’ Compensation Appeals
Tom represents Minnesota employers and their insurers in workers’ compensation litigation in all forums for claim resolution, including administrative conferences, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) sessions, full evidentiary hearings, and on appeal. Tom represents clients in the traditional forums at the Department of Labor and Industry, the Office of Administrative Hearings, and before the Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals and the Minnesota Supreme Court.
He has developed a special focus in representing Minnesota employers in the ADR setting of the Union Construction Workers Compensation Program.
Because of the experience Tom gained in former careers as a hospital administrator, a business executive and a corporate communications director, he is able to provide his clients with an advantage in working with medical experts to favorably resolve issues in complex medical-causation cases, and in assisting in the resolution of potential high-visibility cases.
Tom’s experience working with human resource directors, nursing home administrators, risk managers and chief financial officers can be beneficial to claims adjusters in their relationships with these important contacts. He has helped claims adjusters to develop to management tiers within their companies as they gain more experience dealing with workers’ compensation claims.
Tom was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and has completed extensive studies in both in basic German, German literature and theological studies and Latin. Before entering the practice of law, Tom had a successful career in public relations and communications in several industries including health care, publishing and training. Tom was often the chief news media contact and aided employers and businesses in critical, high profile situations, including a plane crash and an outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease.
Tom’s experience before joining Jardine, Logan & O’Brien in 2002 included 12 years of workers’ compensation litigation in a Minneapolis law firm that he left as a partner. He also served as a vice president of a leading insurance agency where he directed four staff attorneys in developing best practices human resource products and services for Minnesota businesses.
Tom is an avid photographer and he and his wife, Chris, have traveled extensively overseas. He is active in his church community and has served as a religious studies instructor and lector.
- When a disgruntled flight attendant with a minor lumbar strain did not return to her job and did not look for or return to any full-time job for the first three years she was released to full-time work, made only sham efforts in job search and rather sought $500/week in temporary partial disability benefits based on part-time babysitting work, Tom represented a major air carrier and its insurer and convinced a compensation judge that the claim for temporary partial disability benefits was undeserved. The appellate court upheld the judge’s denial of benefits, modifying it only to allow temporary partial disability benefits for the several weeks that the employee worked an actual full-time job. Sanders v. Northwest Airlines, Inc., 42 W.C.D. 336, 547 N.W.2d 358 (Minn. 1996).
- In a case in which a now-disbarred plaintiff’s attorney tried to claim that, based upon a part-time newspaper deliver’s self-employed second job, the newspaper company’s exposure for benefits was on a total of $1,556/week in earnings, not on the part-time newspaper deliverer’s $56/week earnings from his job for the newspaper company, Tom represented the newspaper employer, obtained expert testimony from a forensic accountant and former IRS tax auditor and from a renowned electromyographer and convinced the compensation judge that the employee’s testimony regarding his earnings from his self-employment lacked all credibility and that the employee’s only injury was to a knee and not, as claimed, to a knee, both hands, both wrists, the neck, the brachial plexus and the employee’s vision. The appellate court upheld the compensation judge’s denial of wage-loss benefits based on the claim of $1,500/week in self-employment earnings and the compensation judge’s finding of only an injury to a knee. Novack v. Cowles Media/Star Tribune, (W.C.C.A. served and filed February 26, 1992).
- When a back-injured employee of a major bottler ignored the opinion of his original neurosurgeon who had determined in objective testing that the employee did not have a surgical lesion and the employee instead used the opinion of a family doctor who recommended an “exploratory surgery,” Tom took the cross-examination deposition of the second neurosurgeon who had contemplated surgical attention for the employee and achieved the second neurosurgeon’s disqualification of any surgery. Tom convinced the compensation judge that back surgery was not reasonable nor were certain other claimed medical expenses including a psychological evaluation, that temporary total disability benefits were properly discontinued and that the employee was not a qualified employee for the purposes of obtaining any vocational rehabilitation benefits. The appellate court affirmed all findings of the compensation judge. Odash v. Pepsi-Cola, 2000 WL 643947, (W.C.C.A. served and filed April 25, 2000).
- When the nursing home employee and her attorney resisted cooperating with normal discovery practices related to the employee’s claim for medical and wage-loss benefits, Tom sought and obtained an order from a compensation judge requiring the employee’s cooperation with discovery. As the failure to cooperate with discovery and discovery orders continued, Tom requested, argued for and obtained a rarely-granted complete pre-hearing dismissal by a compensation judge of the employee’s claim, a dismissal of the claim with prejudice, preventing those claims from ever being brought again. When the employee took an appeal, Tom obtained the appellate court’s affirmance of the compensation judge’s dismissal with prejudice, even though the appellate court noted that so-complete a dismissal “is the most punitive sanction which can be imposed,” and is “granted only under exceptional circumstances.” The appellate court agreed the employee’s non-cooperation with discovery that Tom had carefully documented was so egregious, that such complete dismissal was appropriate. Hanegmon v. Chisholm Health Center, 2007 WL 1470506 (W.C.C.A. served and filed May, 3, 2007).
- Minnesota (1985)
- William Mitchell College of Law, J.D., cum laude (1985)
- Marquette University, B.A. , Journalism (1972)
- Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association (MDLA) (Member, 1990 to Present)
- Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA) (Member, Labor & Employment Law Section, 2002 to Present)
- While attending law school, Tom assisted the Director of Employee Relations of one of the country’s largest non-union retail employers via the law clinic program. (1983-1984)
- Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services (SMRLA), Certified Student Attorney (1983-1984)
- Mary, Mother of the Church Parish, Lector (2000 – Present)
- “Will Medicare Rain On Your Parade,” JLO Legal-Ease (2010)
- “Medicare Set-Asides: Where Were These Monsters Spawned?,” JLO Legal-Ease (2007)
- “Medicare Set-Asides: How To Try And Live With These Monsters,” JLO Legal-Ease (2007)
- “Surveillance: Legal and Ethical Limitations; Will/Should Minnesota’s Recognition of the ‘Tort of Invasion of Privacy’ Affect the Use of Surveillance in Insurance Fraud Investigations?” Minnesota Institute of Legal Education Insurance Fraud Course (1999)