News 01.10.24

Segal McCambridge Obtains Defense Verdict on Independent Contractor Issue before the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission

The firm obtained a complete defense verdict in a workers’ compensation matter following a 19(b) trial before the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission.

In the case, the petitioner alleged he was employed by the respondent company as a delivery driver and was thus entitled to benefits under the Illinois Workers Compensation Act for injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident which occurred while he was completing a delivery. The petitioner sought hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages, consisting of temporary total disability benefits, permanent partial disability benefits and payment of medical bills.

The trial focused on whether the petitioner was an employee entitled to benefits or whether the petitioner was in fact an independent contractor, a classification which falls outside the scope of the Act. The petitioner argued that he was an employee because of the control the respondent allegedly exerted over the manner in which he performed his job duties. Through direct examination of the petitioner’s supervisor and a cross-examination of the petitioner himself, the firm successfully showed the respondent had limited control over the petitioner and that its interest was in the end result of the petitioner’s work rather than the manner in which the work was performed.

The Arbitrator found that the petitioner failed to show he and the respondent maintained an employee-employer relationship that would entitle him to benefits. Benefits were therefore denied entirely.

Lauren C. Weber represented the Respondent.