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11/17/89 Trans World Airlines, v. the Industrial Commission

November 17, 1989

TRANS WORLD AIRLINES, APPELLANT

v.

THE INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION ET AL. (WILLIE WILLIAMS, JR., APPELLEE). -- TRANS WORLD AIRLINES, APPELLANT,

v.

THE INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION ET AL. (MARCELO LARA, APPELLEE)



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION DIVISION

548 N.E.2d 367, 191 Ill. App. 3d 856, 138 Ill. Dec. 954 1989.IL.1794

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Alexander P. White, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE McNAMARA delivered the opinion of the court. BARRY, P.J., and WOODWARD, McCULLOUGH, and LEWIS, JJ., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE MCNAMARA

Claimants, Willie Williams, Jr., and Marcelo Lara, sought workers' compensation benefits for injuries sustained while working for respondent, Trans World Airlines , in Pennsylvania and Missouri, respectively. In Williams, an arbitrator found jurisdiction under United Airlines, Inc. v. Industrial Comm'n (1983), 96 Ill. 2d 126, 449 N.E.2d 119, and for a back injury awarded him $258.29 per week for 64 2/7 weeks as temporary total disability benefits, and $258.29 for 100 weeks for a 20% permanent partial disability. The Commission also found jurisdiction and affirmed the arbitrator's decision.

In Lara, an arbitrator found jurisdiction and for a head and neck injury awarded him $320 per week for 31 1/7 weeks as temporary total disability benefits, and $282.25 per week for 150 weeks for a 30% permanent partial disability. The Commission, with one Dissenting member, found jurisdiction and affirmed the arbitrator's decision.

The circuit court found that the Commission had jurisdiction in both cases, since the Illinois employment contract had not ended. The court confirmed the Commission's decisions as to jurisdiction and permanent disability, but set aside the Williams temporary disability award and remanded with instructions to review the parties' stipulation and enter a finding and decision in accordance with the stipulation.

On appeal, TWA contends in both cases that the Commission erred in finding Illinois jurisdiction where claimants had been permanently transferred out of State, and that the finding of Illinois jurisdiction violates the due process clause, enforces an Illinois police statute extraterritorially, and thereby interferes with commerce among the States. The two cases have been consolidated on appeal.

Williams testified that on July 5, 1977, he began working for TWA at O'Hare Airport as a ramp serviceman. Prior to that, TWA interviewed Williams three times. He filled out an application; underwent a physical examination; attended an orientation talk; attended a training class; was fingerprinted, photographed and bonded; was issued an identification badge and an airport driver's license; was issued an employee identification number; and became a member of the union.

On August 19, 1979, J.W. Cyr, manager of ground services for TWA at O'Hare, wrote to Williams, advising him that "a reduction in manpower requirements makes it necessary to furlough you from your present position." He was directed to the union agreement's provisions regarding displacement rights and was instructed to keep TWA advised of his current address. Williams requested a displacement in Pittsburgh and several other cities. Williams testified that had he not accepted the transfer, he would not have been able to continue working for TWA at O'Hare because they were cutting back personnel.

On August 30, 1979, Cyr wrote to Williams that he was to begin working in Pittsburgh:

"Pursuant to your request to exercise your system displacement rights, it has been determined that a less senior employee exists at [Pittsburgh]; the point you selected. Your last day of work at O'Hare remains September 5, 1979. You are to report to G. Long, ...


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