State Shuts Door on Criminals’ Comp

     SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CN) – State lawmakers want to make sure they’ve seen the last of conscious-shocking workers’ compensation claims, such as the one from a former state trooper who killed two teenage sisters while speeding, texting and e-mailing. By 113-0 vote, the Illinois House approved a bill that would deny worker’s compensation to people injured while committing a crime.




     The measure, already passed by the state Senate, has been sent to Gov. Pat Quinn.
     Lawmakers championed the bill after Matt Mitchell, at the time a state trooper, lost control of his squad car while going more than 126 mph and using his cell phone to talk, text and e-mail. His vehicle crossed the highway median and crashed head-on into another car, killing sisters Kelli and Jessica Uhl, who were 13 and 18 years old, respectively.
     After Mitchell pleaded guilty to two counts of reckless homicide and resigned, he filed a workers’ compensation claim for injuries he sustained in the accident.
     An arbitrator denied the claim, and Mitchell is now appealing that decision.
     The new law would prevent cases such as Mitchell’s from being filed in the first place.

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