Benefits Denied for Fall From Chair
In Noonan v. IWCC, 1-15-2300 WC (1st Dist. 2016), the Workers’ Compensation Division of the Illinois Appellate Court affirmed the IWCC decision which had found the Petitioner failed to meet his burden of proving a compensable accident.
In Noonan, the Petitioner was a clerk for a trucking company. He answered the phone and filled out truck driver sheets. While filling out a truck sheet, the Petitioner accidentally dropped his pen on the floor. The Petitioner was sitting on a wheeled chair. The Petitioner placed his left hand on the desk and reached for the pen with his right hand. As the Petitioner’s right hand got close to the pen, the wheeled chair went out from under him and the Petitioner stuck out his right hand to brace his fall. The Petitioner eventually required surgery for an injury to his right wrist.
The Arbitrator held the Petitioner failed to prove his right wrist injury arose out of his employment. Benefits were denied. The Arbitrator determined the Petitioner failed to prove that sitting in a rolling chair and reaching for a pen exposed him to a risk of injury beyond what members of the general public are exposed to. The Arbitrator’s denial of benefits was affirmed by the IWCC.
The Petitioner appealed to the circuit court. Judge Robert Lopez Cepero of the Circuit Court of Cook County reversed the IWCC decision and remanded the matter back to the IWCC for an award of benefits.