A jail officer in Cook County called himself the "duty injury king" after collecting over $150,000 in workers' compensation claims since 2008. A recent surveillance video shows that the employee may have faked his injuries, though, and the Cook County Sheriff's Department hopes to pursue criminal charges. The jail guard has been suspended without pay. According to Cook County officials, a video shows the man faking a slip & fall injury that he later filed a workers' compensation claim for.
News sources indicated that the man collected workers' compensation for three injuries in 2008, including a $53,475 payout for an alleged back injury. He also received $841 when he allegedly hurt his shoulder trying to turn a key in a broken jail door. He later received $9,950 after an inmate alleged injured his knee and hand. The guard attempted to file a claim in 2009 after claiming that an inmate kick him, but the Illinois Industrial Commission denied this claim.
According to the Cook County Sherriff, the man filed a false workers' compensation claim saying that he slipped a puddle of water. The guard claimed that he slipped and fell near a gate, but video footage shows him passing through the area safely. Witnesses reported a spot of water on the ground near the gate that was approximately the size of a quarter.
The Sheriff indicated that false worker's compensation claims are a serious problem in Cook County, "These caseloads are unacceptably high based on any objective measure, resulting in unnecessary delays that prevent the timely and fiscally responsible resolution of cases." With too many pending cases, legitimate workers' compensation claims may be difficult to process. If you need help filing an injury claim in Chicago or the surrounding area, contact our Chicago personal injury attorneys today.