Articles & Updates

Velma Brown v. Kankakee City Police Dept.

by James M. Gallen

Petitioner was a desk officer for the Kankakee Police Department for four years beginning in 2004. She sat at a desk with a monitor in the center of the lobby for seven hours in an eight hour shift. In early November 2005 she noticed pain in her foot that radiated up through her thigh to the center part of her back. She stated that she then had to borrow a chair with a broken back from the basement. She claims that the chair had nothing to support her back and that the chair caused her to have back pain. She said she was not sure when she had hurt her back. She testified that she told the chief about the chair however could not specifically remember when the conversation took place. She stated that at that time she asked for a new chair and he said he would check with his secretary. She also claimed that she informed the chief about her back pain and at that time was given a new chair. She indicated that she used a broken chair for 2 to 3 weeks. The new chief testified that in August 2006 petitioner informed them that the chair was making her uncomfortable so he told her to go to Office Max and get a new chair. He produced the receipt which confirmed that the chair was bought on August 18, 2006.He testified to a meeting with petitioner on April 27, 2007 because she was missing a lot of work. During that meeting she said that she hurt her back while working at the desk. He testified that he had not heard that before and she confirmed that she had neither filled out accident reports nor told anyone about the accident previously. He stated that filling out a report would be a normal procedure when someone has an injury. Petitioner visited her family physician on November 14, 2005 and selected that as the manifestation date of her injury.

She was referred to a foot doctor and later was treated by a pain management specialist. In none of these physicians’ medical records was the chair mentioned.

The case was denied and submitted to the Arbitrator who found that petitioner failed to prove that she sustained accidental injuries arising out of and in the course of her employment, that she gave timely notice or that her condition was causally connected to her employment.

James M. Gallen represented Kankakee City Police Department