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Illinois high court rules on workplace injury case

When Illinois residents suffer injuries caused by another person or entity, it's essential to know what the statute of limitations is for filing a civil legal claim to seek compensation and damages. This includes work-related injuries.

Last month, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled in a case that involved a woman who suffered injuries back in 2012 while working as a custodian in a Chicago office building. A desk that had been standing upright, apparently because carpets were being replaced, fell on her while she was cleaning.

The woman's lawsuit against the construction company was "dismissed…as untimely" by a Cook County circuit court because it was outside the two-year statute of limitations. She later tried to intervene in her employer's subrogation action against the company to recover the money it had paid the woman for her workers' compensation claim.

That petition was denied because the defendants were already being sued for the same incident. The legal principle of res judicata says that a legal claim can't be relitigated once it's settled. However, an appellate court ruled that this principle didn't apply in this case.

The high court, in this recent decision, reversed the appellate court decision. The justices ruled that the circuit court was correct in denying the woman's petition because it was her second attempt to sue the company. Further, it agreed that her first personal injury claim fell outside the statute of limitations.

If you're injured while on the job, it's essential to explore all of your legal options for compensation as soon as possible. Attorneys experienced in handling workers' compensation and other workplace injury claims can provide valuable guidance.

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