Illinois Appellate Court sides with firefighter in workers’ compensation case
The Illinois Appellate Court and the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission interpreted when an employee can recover workers’ compensation benefits for psychological disability if the accident caused no apparent physical injuries.
In the case of Moran v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, the claimant, a Village of Homewood Fire Department lieutenant, responded to a residential fire. While the lieutenant was outside the burning house, a firefighter on his team sustained mortal injuries while trying to extinguish the fire inside the house. Medical evidence indicated that the claimant, who saw the burned body of the killed firefighter carried out of the house, developed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as the result of his experience. It was the opinion of the appellate court, reversing the commission’s decision, that the claimant’s presence outside the house did not prevent the event from being traumatic.
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