Worker can't claim comp for wipeout on bicycle while avoiding rabbit
Case name: Tillery v. McLean County Nursing Home, 19 ILWCLB 67 (Ill. W.C. Comm. 2011).
Ruling: The Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission held that a worker's injuries, sustained when he fell on his lunch break after leaving the facility to go home but while on the employer's property did not arise out of and in the course of his employment.
What it means: In Illinois, where a worker fails to prove that his risk of injury is not any greater than that faced by the general public, his injury is not compensable.
Summary: A worker at a nursing home checked out for lunch and was heading home. He was leaving the facility on his bike on a paved road when he was startled by a rabbit. He swerved and fell. The worker said that the nursing home was located near a park, and therefore, the necessity of swerving to avoid a rabbit was an occurrence that arose out of his employment.
The arbitrator noted that upon review of pictures of the area, the park was on the opposite side of the building from where he fell. The nursing home building and its parking lot separated the location of the injury from the park. The arbitrator found the worker did not face a greater risk than the general public of injury after being startled by a rabbit. Therefore, the worker failed to prove an injury arising out of and in the course of his employment. The Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission affirmed and adopted the decision of the arbitrator.
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July 29, 2011
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