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Illinois nurse seeks compensation after parking lot injury at work

November 15th, 2012 at 5:55 am

Case name: Vandewyngaerde U. Illinois, State  20 ILWCLB 156 (H1. W.C. Comm. 2012). (Illinois Workers’ Compensation Law Bulletin)

Ruling: The claimant was owed 18-4/7 weeks of temporary total disability benefits and $41,955 in medical expenses. That was owed for the injuries that she received from her fall after slipping on snow and ice in the employee parking lot.

What it means: Even though the claimant was clearly warned of the dangerous weather conditions outside especially in her state, in a walking boot for her injured foot, it does not mean necessarily that her decision to go outside in the dangerous weather conditions was an unreasonable or unnecessary risk. Because her break was authorized, she had no choice but to walk across the snowy, icy parking lot in order to return to the building and get back to work.

Summary: On January 17, 2011,  a registered nurse, the claimant, was on her way back into work after an authorized break in the employee parking lot when she slipped and fall on ice. She injured her right arm. At the time, the parking lot was covered in snow and ice. One of her coworkers advised her to not go outside because of the dangerous conditions in addition to the protective boot she was wearing on her foot. Her left foot was injured from an unrelated injury. The claimant went outside anyway though, and walked to her car for a smoke break. Her coworker that saw the fall helped the claimant to her feet and into the building. She was then transported to a hospital by ambulance. The arbitrator argued that her reasons for going out in the dangerous conditions were voluntary and for the personal comfort of smoking. The injury also did not occur directly due to her employment, but the Commission decided the injury was through the course of her employment.

If you are ever in a situation against your employer, contact The Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio. The Discipio law firm can help you get full benefits from a work place injury or other workers compensation. Contact Discipio Law in Cook County now.

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