Case Results

312-425-3131

10 South LaSalle Street, Suite 900, Chicago, IL 60603

211 Landmark Drive, Suite C2, Normal, IL 61761

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Alleged Accident Refuted by Surveillance Video

Petitioner alleged accidental injuries occurring on August 19, 2011. He sustained injury while pushing a cart loaded with 300 to 400 pounds of flour across the floor to a disposal area at the respondent company’s plant. He testified that one of the cart wheels became stuck on a piece of flour, causing him to strain himself by pushing the cart. Petitioner was diagnosed with a right inguinal hernia and underwent surgery shortly thereafter.

Petitioner’s testimony on cross-examination was noted by the Arbitrator to be non-responsive and inconsistent. Petitioner admitted that the cart was only half full at the time of the incident, that he failed to notify any of his co-workers or supervisors about said incident, and, in fact worked the entire shift with no complaints whatsoever. He insisted that the cart became stuck on dough and that he had to push so hard that another employee had to come over and assist him to dislodge the heavy cart from the dough, allowing him to continue to the garbage area. However, the respondent company authenticated and submitted into evidence the surveillance video of the dock compactor area where petitioner claimed the accident occurred at the exact time that he claimed it occurred. The surveillance video clearly showed the petitioner pushing a container to the compactor in a smooth fashion, with no interference from any object on the floor, pushing the compactor button, dumping the contents of the container, and then pushing the container back to its place of origin, out of view of the camera. The video did not show the container becoming stuck at any point, nor did it show a co-employee assisting the petitioner in pushing the cart as he alleged in his testimony. The respondent’s video did show a piece of dough laying on the floor, but as the petitioner pushes the cart, it was clearly evident that the middle of the cart passed directly over the substance and that it did not come close to touching any of the cart wheels.

The Arbitrator found that the petitioner failed to prove an accidental injury arising out of and in the course of his employment, finding specifically that he did not report the incident immediately, continued to perform his regular job duties throughout the day, delayed medical treatment, and gave an inconsistent and confusing account of the alleged accident. The Arbitrator found that the respondent’s surveillance video did not show at any time the container becoming stuck on the floor requiring the petitioner to push hard and, thus, discounted the petitioner’s testimony. In so finding, the Arbitrator also ruled that the petitioner’s condition of ill being was not causally related to the alleged accident, nor was the respondent responsible for more than $60,000.00 in medical bills and accrued TTD benefits.

The petitioner did not appeal the matter to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, accepting the zero award.

  • Chicago Bar Association
  • Workers' Compensation Lawyers Association
  • DRI - The Voice of the Defense Bar
  • The Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel
  • Chicago Bar Association
  • Workers' Compensation Lawyers Association
  • DRI - The Voice of the Defense Bar
  • The Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel
10 South LaSalle Street, Suite 900
Chicago, IL 60603
Phone: 312-425-3131
211 Landmark Drive, Suite C2
Normal, IL 61761
Phone: 309-862-4914
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