An Illinois appeals court has reinstated the compensation benefits of a crossing guard injured in a slip-and-fall incident, ruling that a lower court erred in overturning the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission’s award of medical benefits in the case.
The Illinois First District Court of Appeal, Workers’ Compensation Commission Division on Thursday ruled that the commission was correct in awarding benefits to Jacqueline MacDonnell-Dayhoff after she broke her wrist when she slipped on a patch of ice in a parking lot upon arrival to work in February 2014.
An arbitrator in July 2019 found that the plaintiff did not suffer a work-related injury and denied her benefits, but the commission later reversed that determination, finding that while the parking lot where the woman fell was open to the public, the police department allowed employees (including civilian employees such as crossing guards) to park there, and therefore her injury was compensable.
The Circuit Court of Cook County reversed the commission̵7;s decision in November 2021, finding that the plaintiff’s injury did not occur in a parking lot provided by the Village of Western Springs Police Department, and did not occur during her employment.
The appeals court said that while slip-and-fall incidents that occur when an employee goes to work off premises are generally not compensable, recovery is permitted when the worker is injured in a parking lot provided and maintained by the employer.
In this case, the Court of Appeal judges agreed with the commission that the accident occurred in a municipally owned parking lot and that the damage arose out of and during the plaintiff’s employment.