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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Employee's Acceptance of Workers Compensation Benefits Bars Tort Lawsuit

At issue in today's case is whether an award of workers' compensation benefits to a paramedic precludes his tort claim against his employer (City of Chicago). The answer is yes, in Locasto v. City of Chicago.

Locasto alleges he was injured during a training exercise. He filed for workers' compensation benefits and received an award of about $150,000. He also filed a lawsuit claiming that the City intentionally injured him during firefighter paramedic training by forcing him to engage in rigorous physical exercise with minimal water breaks that resulted in dehydration and acute kidney failure. The City responded that his receipt of a workers' compensation award precluded his tort case, citing the "exclusive remedy" provision on the Workers Compensation Act. The court agreed with the City, finding that once an employee applies for and accepts workers' compensation benefits under the Act, he or she is then barred from pursuing alternative remedies, including intentional tort claims against the employer.

Post Authored by Julie Tappendorf


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