On September 24, 2020, the Illinois Supreme Court, in McAllister v. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, held that the case of Caterpillar Tractor Co. v. Industrial Commission provides the proper test to determine whether an injury that involves common everyday bodily movements or activities arises out of the employment. Under the Caterpillar Tractor test, it must be determined if the everyday activity being performed was incident to the employment or causally connected to the job duties.
In this case, the claimant sustained an accidental knee injury in the workplace after standing up from a kneeling position while looking for a missing item. The lower courts ruled that the injury did not arise out of the employment, finding that it resulted from a neutral risk that was not greater than the risk to the general public. Relying on the Caterpillar Tractor test, the supreme court reversed the lower court decisions, reasoning the evidence established that the injury was caused by an employment-related risk because the claimant was engaged in work that the employer would have reasonably expected him to perform.
Clarifying that the correct test is the Caterpillar Tractor test, the court then overruled a previous appellate decision, Adcock v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation, which some appellate courts relied on to require that claimants additionally prove they were exposed to a risk of injury to a greater extent than the general public, even where the everyday activity is directly related to the claimants’ job duties.
For more information on other cases monitored by NCCI’s Legal Division, visit previous Court Case Updates and
Court Case Insights, under the
Legal section of
This article is provided solely as a reference tool to be used for informational purposes only. The information in this article shall not be construed or interpreted as providing legal or any other advice. Use of this article for any purpose other than as set forth herein is strictly prohibited.