I&F Prevails in IL: Rolling Chair Found Not to be an Increased Risk

Inman & Fitzgibbons secured a “no liability” Arbitration Decision following a recent trial involving an employee who fell to the floor when a chair she went to sit on rolled out from under her. The employee was sitting onto the chair at a work station as she was picking up a telephone to take a call, and the chair simply rolled out from under her. Petitioner presented evidence for the first time on the day of trial that the floor was “shiny,” “new” and “slippery,” but evidence contemporaneous with the accident made no mention of this or suggested she slipped when she fell. The arbitrator found this testimony of Petitioner not credible. The arbitrator then adopted Respondent’s argument that the act of sitting onto a chair is a neutral risk and not one to which Petitioner was exposed to any greater degree than the general public. The arbitrator further concluded that it was not necessary for Petitioner to sit in the chair to perform her work duty (i.e. answering the telephone call) and there was nothing peculiar about the chair or desk in question to suggest her employment increased her risk to that greater than the general public of having a chair roll out from under them. The arbitrator also adopted Respondent’s position on causal connection adopting the opinions of Respondent’s IME over those of the treating physician in issuing the denial of the claim.

Congratulations to I&F President and Managing Partner G. Steven Murdock for the outstanding result.

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