Employer’s Acquiescence Helps Claimant Secure Benefits For Parking Lot Injury

Case Name: Campbell v. Heldtman Steel, 15 ILWCLB 253 (Ill. W.C. Comm. 2007).

Ruling:

The Commission awarded temporary total disability and permanent disability under section 8(e) of the WCA to an employee who slipped and fell on the ice in the employer’s parking lot during her shift.

Summary:

The claimant, a shipping clerk for the defendant, worked a 3:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. shift.  At 8:30 p.m. while walking to her vehicle with the intention of moving the vehicle closer to the building, she slipped and fell on snow and ice in the parking lot.  The claimant testified that she was moving her vehicle closer to the workplace because of the lack of lighting in the lot and safety concerns.  Closer parking spaces become available later in the day.  The lot was primarily used by employees.  The claimant admitted that she knew of no crimes being committed in the area prior to her fall.  She explained that several years earlier, she mentioned to her supervisor that she desired to move her vehicle during the middle of her shift to a parking space closer to the building.  No objection was made by the supervisor.  The claimant contended that there was no company policy prohibiting her from moving her vehicle during work hours.  She had no assigned breaks.  The arbitrator found that the claimant’s injury arose out of and in the course of her employment. In so finding, the arbitrator reasoned that the employer exercised control over the lot, and the lot was primarily used by employees.  Also, the arbitrator pointed out that the employer acquiesced to the claimant moving her car closer.   Upon review, the Commission modified the permanent disability award and affirmed on all other issues.