Truck Driver Was Entitled To Benefits For Injuries Sustained After His Truck Was Struck By A Train, Even Though Gates Were Either Coming Down Or Were Already Down When He Proceeded Across Tracks

The Commission awarded benefits to claimant-truck driver for injuries sustained when

his truck was struck by a train, finding claimant’s poor judgment in crossing the tracks did not rise to the level of willful or wanton conduct so as to remove him from the scope of his employment.Claimant, a self-employed truck driver, sustained injuries after his truck was struck by a train. Evidence indicated claimant approached the crossing gates, the gates were either coming down or were down, he either hesitated slightly or accelerated

and then he proceeded across the tracks.  Claimant did not make it completely across as the rear of his truck was struck by the train. The arbitrator denied benefits.The Commission reversed, noting although it did not condone claimant’s behavior and believed that at the very least he used poor judgment, his behavior did not rise to the level of willful or wanton conduct so as to remove him from the scope of his employment.  Citing Stembridge Builders Inc., v Industrial Commission, the Commission explained the modern rule is that violation of a statute is not willful misconduct per se. There must be an intentional act of a quasi-criminal nature either with knowledge that it is likely to result in serious injury or with a wanton disregard of probable consequences.  In the instant case there was no evidence claimants actions were knowingly or intentionally going to result in serious injury.

Dear valued clients:

Our office is aware of the Covid 19 situation and is taking measures to keep our staff safe during these difficult times. For the immediate future, we will not be meeting in person with any of our clients. However, all of our clients can reach us by telephone, email at or by facsimile at 630-451-9477. Our office remains open and we will continue our work as usual. We feel this is best for everyone concerned.

If you have recently suffered an injury from a work related accident and would like to retain our services, the entire process can be done by telephone, electronic and/or regular mail. We have operators available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Please feel free to contact us anytime at 312-661-0450 and speak with one of our experienced and knowledgeable attorneys. Once this is has passed, we will gladly meet with you in person to answer any questions or address any concerns you may have.

Thank you for your patience and consideration. Be safe and stay healthy!


Donald Fohrman
Donald W. Fohrman & Associates, Ltd.