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The Appellate Court of Illinois, Fourth District, Workers’ Compensation Commission Division has found that a temporary university worker failed to prove that her fall on the way to turn in her timecard was work-related. The case is Purcell v. Illinois Workers Compensation Commission. 2021 IL App (4th) 200359WC, 2021 IL App (4th) 200359W. 

Emily Purcell worked as an administrative assistant on a temporary basis at the University of Illinois. She worked, and was paid for, 7.5 hours of work per day, Monday through Friday, and was required to perform various duties around campus. To perform those duties, Purcell had to leave her office. Every other Friday, Purcell was required to turn in her timecard at the Personnel Services Building. On September 9, 2016, Purcell arrived on campus and said she intended to walk to the Personnel Services Building to drop off her time card. On her way, she encountered a chain barrier. Purcell claimed to have attempted to hop over the barrier, but her shoe got caught and she fell, injuring her right elbow. She was transported to the hospital by ambulance and underwent surgery a week later. Purcell admitted that the fencing stopped a mere 15 feet to the left of where she fell while attempting to jump the fence and that no obstructions would have prevented her from taking a route that did not require hopping over a fence. 

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