IL Workers Comp: Court of Appeals Affirms “No Greater Risk” defense
The Illinois Court of Appeals reached a decision in the attached case of Dukich v. IWCC on September 19, 2017, affirming the “No Greater Risk” defense.
The Court of Appeals held that where the employer’s parking lot was free of any ice or snow and had no defects on the paved surface where the claimant fell, but was merely wet from rain, claimant’s injury in a slip and fall accident arose from an activity of daily living and did not result from an employment-related risk or from a neutral risk to which the claimant was at increased exposure as a result of her employment.
There was no evidence that claimant had been rushing to complete a work task. Nor was she carrying items required for her work. Accordingly, her claim for workers’ compensation was appropriately denied.
This case was won on the basis of a thorough initial investigation. Remember, cases are often won based on the initial investigation because that is the best opportunity to obtain truthful facts from claimants before their story changes over time.
This case also demonstrates how accident scene photos can be used to demonstrate the lack of any defect in an area where a claimant falls.