- November 25, 2020
On September 24, 2020, Justice P. Scott Neville Jr. of the Illinois Supreme Court, Justices Thomas Kilbride, Rita Garman, Lloyd Karmeier, Mary Jane Theis, and Chief Justice Anne Burke ruled that the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission should not have denied benefits to Kevin McAllister.
The Chicago chef injured his knee when he went from kneeling to standing, an everyday movement required by his job. When McAllister stood, his right knee popped and locked up, requiring surgery and five weeks out from work. However, McAllister did not receive any benefits when he filed for workers’ compensation. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission stated that the act of going from kneeling to standing was not unique to McAllister’s job and was an everyday movement.
McAllister went to the Cook County Circuit Court and the Illinois First District Appellate Court where his appeals were denied. At the Illinois Supreme Court, Justice Neville stated that kneeling was a natural action for a chef to do. Justice Neville looked at the 1989 ruling of Caterpillar Tractor v. Illinois Industrial Commission to make his decision. The ruling said that actions connected to employment are worthy of compensation, even if they are common bodily movements.
Future of Workers’ Compensation Claims
The state Supreme Court granted McAllister his compensation and stated that the Illinois Workers’ Compensation was in the wrong for denying him benefits. Through this decision, the Illinois Supreme Court has now set a precedent on workers’ compensation rulings.
By overturning Adcock v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Comm’n, which stated that injuries resulting from everyday risk are not able to be compensated through the Workers’ Compensation Act, this major Supreme Court ruling could impact all future workers’ compensation claims. This decision could also result in an influx of claims involving workplace injuries that result from everyday movement.
Ask an Attorney about Workers’ Compensation for Everyday Acts
If you have questions about how this Supreme Court decision could impact you or your potential case, contact the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. One of our experienced attorneys could further explain the changes and their impact on your workers’ compensation claim.