Case name: Simmons v. Inn Zone Car Wash, 18 ILWCLB 139 (Ill. W.C. Comm. 2010).
Ruling: The Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission held that the claimant's injuries sustained when he was attacked by his supervisor arose out of and in the course of his employment.
What it means: Where the claimant's assault by his supervisor was the result of the supervisor's belief that the claimant took property from work, the claimant's injuries sustained in the assault arose out of and in the course of his employment.
Summary: The claimant washed and detailed cars. One day, the claimant asked his supervisor if he could take some spray and wax solution so that he could clean his mother's car. The supervisor agreed to the request. The claimant put the items in a bag and placed the bag in his locker. Later that day, he felt a sudden pain. He looked up to see the supervisor holding a baseball bat and preparing to swing again. The claimant was hit one time on his left forehead and three times on his right upper extremity. The claimant ran from the premises. He testified that the supervisor was angry because another worker told him that the claimant had taken something from the business. The arbitrator awarded benefits. Upon review, the commission affirmed and adopted the decision of the arbitrator.
In finding a compensable accident, the arbitrator noted that the claimant credibly testified he was assaulted and battered with a baseball bat at work by his supervisor and that the assault arose from a dispute regarding car wash supplies belonging to the business. The attack was the result of the supervisor's perceived work issue. The claimant's testimony was corroborated by a police report, ambulance report, and hospital records. Based on this evidence, the arbitrator found the accident arose out of and in the course of the claimant's employment.
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December 23, 2010
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