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What is Mahoney vs. Industrial Commission?

What is Mahoney vs. Industrial Commission?

Airport worker

Mahoney vs. Industrial Commission was a crucial case for the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act. The case involved Robert Mahoney (a United Airlines employee) and the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. On January 20, 2006 — with the help of his workers’ compensation attorney, Jason Rubens, Robert Mahoney received an Illinois Supreme Court ruling in his favor, allowing him to collect workers’ compensation benefits in Illinois following two separate job site injuries that occurred in Florida.

Per the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, Mahoney was entitled to collect benefits in Illinois because that was his original site of contract to hire with United Airlines. Below, we will cover the details of Robert Mahoney’s case and look further into how the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act helped him receive the benefits entitled to him.




Mahoney vs. Industrial Commission: Case Background

On January 6, 1969, Robert Mahoney was hired by United Airlines as a ramp serviceman working at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois. He continued to work for United at O’Hare until 1993, when he voluntarily relocated to Orlando, Florida. Mahoney had no break in employment during his relocation.

Mahoney continued life as usual, working as a ramp serviceman. Some years later, he sustained injuries on two separate occasions: once on March 19, 1999 and another on January 2, 2001. Both injuries occurred while working for United Airlines in Orlando, so Mahoney received his workers’ compensation benefits consistent with the Florida Workers’ Compensation Act. He also received medical care in Orlando.

Following these events, Mahoney filed an application for an adjustment of his claims with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. Initially, his claims were denied by an arbitrator, who found that Mahoney could no longer be viewed as having any relationship with United Airlines in Illinois because he had voluntarily relocated to Florida. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission and the circuit court of Cook County affirmed this decision, but the appellate court reversed the decision, allowing Mahoney to proceed with his claim. United Airlines appealed this decision to the Illinois Supreme Court


How Did the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act Help Mahoney?

On January 20, 2006, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled in Robert Mahoney’s favor. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act states that the “site of contract for hire is the exclusive test for determining the applicability of the Act to persons whose employment is outside Illinois where the contract of hire is made within Illinois.” The decision was unanimous (7-0).

Why is this case still so pivotal, all these years later? It paved the way for workers who were originally contracted to hire in Illinois to file their claims in Illinois — even if, like Mahoney, they are injured while working elsewhere. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act provides significantly greater benefits than some other states, so it is crucial that individuals who are entitled to those benefits are able to receive them.

Injured hand and work injury claim form


Turn to The Law Offices of Jason H. Rubens, P.C. for Illinois Workers’ Compensation Help

Were you or someone you know contracted to hire in Illinois, but injured on a job site outside of state lines? The Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys at The Law Offices of Jason H. Rubens, P.C. in Chicago, IL can help. We have a record of helping people receive the benefits they deserve, and we’re prepared to help you, too. To learn more and schedule a free consultation, please do not hesitate to contact us.