A Springfield, Ill., pizzeria employee recently received workers compensation benefits for a shooting injury that he sustained at work. An arbitrator from the Industrial Commission of Illinois found that the pizzeria employee was entitled to workers compensation benefits because he suffered his gunshot injuries arising out of and in the course of his employment at the restaurant. Specifically, the worker was shot while trying to protect pizzeria patrons from an armed robber.
The pizzeria employee was severely injured by the robber. At the workers compensation hearing doctors testified that the bullet entered the employees left shoulder and hit his lungs, trachea, esophagus and then lodged in his right shoulder.
While exploring the gunshot wound, a doctor also found hematomas, a collapsed lung, and bone fragments. The workers esophagus and trachea were torn, requiring surgery. Additional surgeries were performed to the workers arm, including the installation of a metal plate and screws.
The employees injuries were covered under workers compensation benefits and the arbitrator found that he was entitled to $251,525.86 for medical expenses and lost wages. Unfortunately the pizzeria failed to keep current workers comp insurance and was fined $10,000 by the industrial commission last fall in addition to being ordered to reimburse the Illinois Workers Comp Commission for paying the employee.
Source: Illinois Workers Compensation Commission v. Kunz, 09 IL.INC. 3188 (Ill.Indus.Comn), 12 I.W.C.C. 0962, 2012 WL 5332374