A City of Chicago plumbing inspector, whose duties required him to travel throughout the city by car to inspect the plumbing in both residential and commercial buildings, sustained an injury arising out of and in the course of his employment when he “tripped on a curb,” held an Illinois appellate court [Nee v. Illinois Workers’ Comp. Comm’n, 2015 IL App (1st) 132609WC; 2015 Ill. App. LEXIS 131 (Feb. 27, 2015)].
Finding the inspector’s injuries resulted from a “neutral” risk [see Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, §§ 4.03, 6.01, 25.01], the court indicated the inspector was required to prove he was exposed to the risk to a greater degree than the general public. Such increased risk could be either qualitative, that is when some aspect of the employment contributed to the risk; or quantitative, such as when the employee was exposed to the risk more frequently than the general public. The appellate court observed that the risk attendant to traversing curbs confronted all members of the public. A traveling employee, such as the claimant, was presumed, however, to have been exposed to a greater degree of risk than the general public. Accordingly, the Commission’s determination that the inspector’s injuries did not arise out of the employment was against the manifest weight of the evidence, concluded the appellate court.