Worker wins benefits for knee injury sustained while riding in limousine
Case name: Cortey v. Sara Lee, 20 ILWCLB 24 (Ill. W.C. Comm. 2011).
Ruling: The Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission held that a worker was entitled to benefits for the knee injury he sustained while changing seats in a limousine.
What it means: In Illinois, where a worker is required to travel as part of his work duties, injuries sustained by the worker arise out of and in the course of his employment so long as his conduct was reasonable and the risk of injury was foreseeable.
Summary: An Illinois worker traveled to South Carolina to take some of his employer's customers to a coffee plant. He and the customers were in a rented limousine when the driver asked the passengers to even out the weight distribution in the vehicle. The worker had his briefcase on his lap, and when he stood up to switch to the other side of the vehicle, he felt pain in his right knee. He was diagnosed with a tear of the lateral meniscus. His underwent surgery. The arbitrator found the worker's injury arose out of and the course of his employment as a traveling employee and awarded benefits.
The arbitrator noted that the claimant was in the ordinary course of his business for the employer at the time of his injury. There was no dispute that something happened to the worker's right knee while he was performing the duties of his employment. As the worker was in the performance of reasonable services for the benefit of the employer at the time of the injury, his accident was compensable.
The commission affirmed and adopted the decision of the arbitrator.
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April 26, 2012
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