Peoria County Belwood Nursing Home v. The Industrial Commission

487 N.E.2d 356 (1985)

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Peoria County Belwood Nursing Home v. The Industrial Commission

Illinois Court of Appeals
487 N.E.2d 356 (1985)

Facts

Wanda Cagle (plaintiff) worked in the laundry room at Peoria County Belwood Nursing Home (Belwood) (defendant). For six years, Cagle’s job duties included carrying 25-to-50-pound laundry bags, sorting and loading laundry into large washing machines, and operating the washing machines. While working in the laundry room, Cagle began noticing pain, numbness, and tingling in her left wrist to such a degree that as of October 4, 1976, she could no longer grip the washing-machine doors during her shift. On October 5, 1976, Cagle consulted a neurologist, who connected Cagle’s symptoms to her employment. Cagle subsequently underwent surgery for carpal-tunnel syndrome. In August of 1979, Cagle sought workers’-compensation benefits from Belwood, alleging that she had developed carpal-tunnel syndrome in the course of her job in the laundry room. An arbitrator awarded Cagle benefits after finding that Cagle had suffered an accidental injury on October 4, 1976, due to repeated trauma from operating the washing machines. The Industrial Commission (plaintiff) affirmed the award, and a state circuit court affirmed the commission’s decision. Belwood appealed to the Illinois Court of Appeals, arguing that Cagle’s injury was not a compensable accidental injury under Illinois’s workers’-compensation statute because the injury was not traceable to a specific incident.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Barry, J.)

Dissent (Webber, J.)

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