A Statutory Employers Liability for Work Related Injury In a Fall from a Ladder While Painting

In Pulliam v. Industrial Comm'n, 43 Ill. 2d 364, 253 N.E.2d 448 (1969), the owner of a funeral home was found to be maintaining a structure within the purview of section 3 of the Act. An employee was injured in a fall from a ladder while painting the funeral home. The court reasoned that the use of the building figured prominently in the revenues the owner received from his business. The court in Fefferman also noted that Pulliam effectively overruled a previous line of cases insofar as those cases held that maintaining a building as an incident to a business did not constitute maintaining a structure under the Act. In another similar case, Graphic Group & KLW, Inc. v. Industrial Comm'n, 167 Ill. App. 3d 1041, 522 N.E.2d 128, 118 Ill. Dec. 673 (1988), Graphic Group engaged William Dorsch to paint and plaster its office. Dorsch subsequently employed Mark Londinski, the claimant, to do one day's worth of painting. While so engaged, claimant sustained a fracture to his lower left leg. Dorsch did not carry workers' compensation insurance. The Commission determined that Graphic Group was a statutory employer and liable for workers' compensation benefits. On appeal, Graphic Group argued that it was not the statutory employer of the claimant because it was not engaged in the business of maintaining a structure. The court rejected this argument, finding that Graphic Group's offices indirectly contributed to the revenue received by the business and that Graphic Group was therefore maintaining a structure within the meaning of section 1(a)(3) of the Act.