Posted On: October 27, 2009 by Steven J. Malman

Illinois Workers' Compensation: Appeals Court in Chicago Affirms that Worker Injured While Playing Wallyball is Entitled to Benefits

In Chicago, the First District Appellate Court says that an Elmhurst Park District employee who got hurt in 2002 while playing Wallyball is indeed entitled to receive Illinois workers’ compensation benefits for his injury. Sean Murphy sought work injury benefits under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act after he injured his right leg. His employer countered by citing section 11, which prevents workers from recovering benefits from work accidents that occurred during voluntary recreational programs (unless participation was mandatory).

Murphy, however, says on the day he was injured, an off-duty co-worker asked him to play the game. He refused but the co-worker pushed him into participating by saying the game wouldn’t take place otherwise due to a shortage of players. Murphy, a fitness supervisor, says his job included promoting and implementing programs and classes for patrons.

An arbitrator found that section 11 wasn’t applicable to this DuPage County workers’ compensation case because Murphy was doing his job. He was awarded temporary total disability benefits for seven weeks and two days. The arbitrator also awarded him, for the 25% loss of use of his leg, 50 weeks of permanent partial disability benefits.

The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, a Cook County Circuit Judge, and the state appellate panel affirmed the arbitrator’s findings.

Illinois Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Injuries on the job can be very painful and costly. Because you cannot sue your employer for Chicago personal injury, it is important that you receive all of the workers’ compensation benefits you are owed. Sometimes, an employer will try to delay or deny benefits.

Man's Wallyball Injury Leads to Workers' Comp, Courthouse News, October 26, 2009

Panel: Playing wallyball part of the job for injured worker, All Business/Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, October 6, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Elmhurst Park District

American WallyBall Association

The best way to ensure that you receive all benefits that you are owed is to speak with an experienced Chicago workers’ compensation law firm.

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