Here’s a very interesting case filed under Illinois’ Workers’ Occupational Diseases Act:
- June 2012: Kevin Clayton Jr. started working as an officer for Pontiac Correctional Center.
- July 2012: He had a negative skin test for tuberculosis (TB).
- His duties included: Gallery walks, security checks, escorting inmates, patting inmates down, and strip searching inmates.
- June 29, 2012: A severe storm caused damage to another prison in Dixon, IL, leading to a transfer of inmates to Pontiac. Kevin helped move them from the bus to the prison, and strip searched them one by one, and this was repeated in reverse weeks later.
- April 13, 2013: He tested positive for latent tuberculosis via a skin test.
- April 15, 2013: X-rays found no evidence of active tuberculosis in his lungs.
- Kevin returned to work.
- He testified that possible future treatment included medication and needing to get an x-ray every two years, but as of the time of testimony, he was not on any medication.
The employer’s defense to this claim included:
- Kevin testified that he had no direct knowledge of any inmates, including guests, having active TB.
- Teresa Arroyo, health care unit administrator for the facility, testified that:
- There were no active cases of TB at Pontiac Correctional Center from June 2012 to April 2013, including a review of the 90 Dixon guest inmates’ health reports.
- Only active TB is transmittable to other people.
- In her 9.5 years of employment at Pontiac CC, there had been zero cases of active TB.
In Illinois’ Workers’ Occupational Diseases Act, Occupational Disease “means a disease arising out of and in the course of employment or which has become aggravated and rendered disabling as a result of the exposure of the employment. Such aggravation shall arise out of a risk peculiar to or increased by the employment and not common to the general public.“
Kevin’s attorneys won his case in the end!
Why did he win?
A few of the key points of the Commission’s decision included:
- There is no question that Kevin has latent TB and that his job exposes him to the risk of contracting TB to a greater degree than the general public.
- Ms. Arroyo did not personally review all 90 Dixon guest inmates’ health reports, because a co-worker helped with that task.
- No evidence was presented regarding if guest inmates traveling through (for court writs, medical furloughs, etc.) were tested or came with health reports.
Do you have an occupational disease, workers’ compensation or personal injury case? Contact us at Peter D. Corti Law Group. We will give you a free consultation backed by 151 years of experience.