Should Compensatipon Be Given to An Individual for An Injury During Working Hours Caused by a Disease Unconnected to Work ?

In Hopkins v. Industrial Comm'n, 196 Ill. App. 3d 347, 351, 553 N.E.2d 732, 734, 143 Ill. Dec. 25 (1990) the Commission denied compensation to a deputy bailiff who injured himself while training a rookie. During on-the-job training, the rookie was sitting in a swivel chair normally used by the deputy while the deputy was sitting nearby in a non-swivel, straight back chair. The rookie asked a question and, as the deputy turned in his chair to answer, he heard a pop and felt pain in his back. The appellate court affirmed the denial of the award. The court found there was evidence that the injury resulted from hazard personal to the deputy and unconnected to work. Hopkins, 196 Ill. App. 3d at 352, 553 N.E.2d at 735. The Commission was presented with testimony from a medical expert that the deputy had degenerative disc disease and was predisposed to back injury. The doctor testified that the same thing could have happened to the deputy while he was sitting in his living room watching television. Hopkins, 196 Ill. App. 3d at 350, 553 N.E.2d at 733. The court found there was no suggestion that the chair was defective or unusual in anyway or that the deputy's holster got caught on the chair. Hopkins, 196 Ill. App. 3d at 351, 553 N.E.2d at 735.