Posted On: April 15, 2010 by Steven J. Malman

Wendy’s Restaurant Employee Who Hugged Worker Before Getting Hurt Entitled to Workers’ Compensation

A state appeals court says that Danielle Wood is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Wood was injured on January 29, 2008 after her shift at a Wendy’s had ended.

She had just clocked out and was walking toward to rear exit when she saw co-manager Delilah Stroud leaning against a Frosty machine. Wood stopped and used one arm to hug her. She was then was injured in a fall accident after stepping away from Stroud.

Wood, who has had to undergo knee surgery and physical therapy, filed a workers’ compensation claim. An administrative law judge determined that Wood wasn’t entitled to work injury benefits because her shift had ended, she wasn’t required to hug Stroud, and she could have gone straight to the exit. The state’s Workers’ Compensation Commission went on adopt the judge’s findings.

Now, however, a three-judge panel has reversed the commissions ruling and ordered that Wood receive her work injury benefits. The court’s opinion noted that because Wood had to go through a walkway that was two feet wide to leave the restaurant, she did not stray from her exit path when she paused to hug Stroud. The court also said that even if Wood had deviated from her employment duties when hugging Stroud, the fall accident happened after the embrace, not during, which means that when she got hurt she was in the middle of performing employment services while attempting to leave the restaurant.

Chicago, Illinois Workers’ Compensation
Unfortunately, disputes can arise between a worker filing a Chicago workers’ compensation claim and an employee. The disagreement may have to be worked out in arbitration, before the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, or in court. Some workers’ compensation cases have even made their way all the way to the Illinois Supreme Court.

Court: Co-Workers’ Hug No Reason To Deny Compensation, SWTImes, April 16, 2010

Read the Opinion (PDF)

Related Web Resource:
Workers' Compensation, Justia

Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission

It is important that you have a Chicago, Illinois workers’ compensation law firm looking out for your best interests.

Bookmark and Share

Watch Our Videos

Recent Entries