Back to our interesting case: Milovan Prodanic was a maintenance worker and driver for Grossinger Chevrolet in Palatine, Illinois. Court records show that in 2008, Prodanic was sent by Grossinger Chevrolet to fix an overhead garage door at Grossinger City Autocorp, Inc. Grossinger City Autocorp is a Toyota dealership in Chicago that is owned by the party that owns Grossinger Chevrolet.
While Prodanic was working on the garage door that day, it was activated. Records show that the activation caused Prodanic's fall from an elevated platform, and he died as a result of this fall. Milovan Prodanic's widow filed a wrongful death suit against City Autocorp. A Cook County, Illinois circuit court found that workers' comp was the exclusive remedy for Ms. Prodanic, since her husband was a 'borrowed employee' of another company owned by parent company of the deceased's employer.
Illinois' 1st District Appellate Court upheld the circuit court's decision in a unanimous panel ruling last week. In its decision, the court said that workers become employees of companies to which they are loaned while performing special tasks. Even though Prodanic's employment originated with the Chevy dealership, the appellate court said that he's also considered a City Autocorp employee because managers at that company had the power to direct his work no matter which premises the work was carried out on.
"The record... shows that at a minimum, an implied contract for hire existed between (Mr. Prodanic) and City Autocorp," the ruling reads.
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