Deana Durand had been a clerical worker and policy administrator at RLI Insurance Co. in Peoria, Ill., for seven years when she started to feel pain and numbness in her hands in September 1997. She informed her supervisor a few months later that she thought the pain might be related to her work, which involved typing and entering data for most of her eight-hour shift each day.
However, because the discomfort wasn't too bad at the time, Durand kept working. But by August 2000, the pain had worsened severely--Durand was experiencing pains in her hands and wrists that shot up her arms to her elbows as she worked and constant tingling and numbness in her fingers and hands. At this point, Durand decided to see a doctor, who diagnosed her with carpal tunnel syndrome that he deemed "very work related." A specialist determined Durand needed surgery.