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Archive for September, 2011

Illinois Governor Quinn Denies Worker’s Comp to Criminals

September 7th, 2011 at 10:32 pm

On August 8, 2011, Governor Quinn signed Senate bill 1147 into law to prevent workers convicted of serious crimes from claiming workers compensation benefits.  Senate Bill 1147 denies workers compensation benefits for injuries sustained during the commission of; a forcible felony, an aggravated DUI or during a reckless homicide if those crimes resulted in the death or severe injury to another person.

The new law was inspired by the Illinois State Police trooper’s high-speed wreck that killed 2 sisters in down state Collinsville.  The state trooper was reportedly driving more than 100 mph and using his cell phone on I-64 in southern Illinois when his cruiser crossed the median and slammed into another car kill the sisters.  The public was outraged that the injured officer could apply for and perhaps receive workers compensation benefits resulting from his outrageous conduct.  The trooper subsequently resigned and his workers compensation case was denied but even the possibility of collecting benefits caused the new law to be pushed into the new Illinois workers compensation reforms.

Now, after a worker is charged with a forcible felony, an aggravated DUI or reckless homicide resulting in injury, the injured employee is prohibited from collecting workers compensation benefits until their criminal case is finally concluded.

Under the new law, an acquittal or dismissal of the criminal charges does not guarantee receipt of benefits. After the criminal case, an injured worker who is not convicted will still need to prove entitlement to benefits just like any other injured worker but, a finding of guilt will prohibit benefits for injuries sustained during the criminal conduct because the injured employee is considered not to be “in the course of employment” during the commission of any of these crimes.

Conviction for driving drunk or under the influence of drugs and injuring another person will now prohibit the injured worker from collecting benefits including medical bills. This new law slams the door shut on the possibility of workers trying to collect benefits if found guilty of injuring another person during otherwise criminal conduct.

If you have been injured at work  contact DuPage County Workers’ Compensation Attorney Francis J. Discipio  today to arrange a free initial consultation.

 

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