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Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Officer Not Entitled to On-Duty Disability Pension for Injury in Entering Vehicle

A police officer was injured after he slipped off the curb while entering his vehicle after leaving court where he had been testifying before a grand jury. The officer applied for a disability pension with the Police Pension Fund. The Board of the Pension Fund approved a non-duty disability pension but denied his request for an on-duty disability pension. He sought review of the Board's decision with the trial court which held in his favor. 

The Pension Fund appealed, and the Illinois Appellate Court upheld the Board's decision rejecting his on-duty disability request. Griffin v. Village of New Lenox Police Pension Fund. Specifically, the Court found that the officer was not performing an "act of duty" when he was injured. He was walking toward his vehicle which is an activity that ordinary citizens do every day. There was no special risk in what he was doing nor was he acting in a way any different than a citizen in the ordinary walks of life. As a result, the Court upheld the Board's decision to deny an on-duty disability pension.


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