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Swanson v. Board of Trustees of Flossmoor Police Pension Fund

Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, First Division

March 3, 2014

MARK E. SWANSON, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE FLOSSMOOR POLICE PENSION FUND, Defendant-Appellee

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. No. 11 CH 40021. Honorable Diane J. Larsen, Judge, Presiding.

Affirmed.

SYLLABUS

The denial of plaintiff's application for a line-of-duty pension for the disability he suffered as a result of a stroke was not against the manifest weight of the evidence, since plaintiff failed to present sufficient proof that the stroke was the result of his performance of an act of duty as a police officer.

For APPELLANTS: Nicholas F. Esposito, Bradley K. Staubus, & Delia DiVenere of Esposito & Staubus LLP, Burr Ridge, IL.

For APPELLEES: Richard J. Reimer, Keith A. Karlson, & Christopher M. Melnyczenko of Reimer & Karlson LLC, Hinsdale, IL.

JUSTICE HOFFMAN delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Presiding Justice Connors and Justice Cunningham concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

Page 125

HOFFMAN, JUSTICE.

Presiding Justice Connors and Justice Cunningham concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

[¶1] The plaintiff, Mark E. Swanson, appeals from an order of the circuit court which confirmed a decision of the Board of Trustees of the Flossmoor Police Pension Fund (the Board), denying his application for a line-of-duty disability pension under section 3-114.1 of the Illinois Pension Code (Code) (40 ILCS 5/3-114.1 (West 2008)) or, in the alternative, by reason of a stroke he suffered in the performance of his duties as a police officer under section 3-114.3 of the Code (40 ILCS 5/3-114.3 (West 2008)). For the reasons which follow, we affirm the judgment of the circuit court.

[¶2] The following factual recitation is taken from the evidence of record presented at the Board's hearing on the plaintiff's application for pension benefits conducted on February 23, 2011, and July 12, 2011.

[¶3] The plaintiff became a member of the Flossmoor Police Department (Department) on January 3, 2000. Following his appointment to the Department, he was assigned to the patrol division. In 2007, the plaintiff was promoted to the rank of detective and assigned to the detective division.

[¶4] According to the plaintiff, he did not sleep well on the night of July 30, 2009, because he was upset and angry over a performance evaluation he had received at work. In the morning of July 31, 2009, the plaintiff left his home to go to work, but returned shortly thereafter. He testified that his arm was numb from the elbow down and his lip was drooping. Dawn Swanson, the plaintiff's wife, testified that, when the plaintiff returned home, she noticed that his mouth was droopy and his speech was slurred. She drove the plaintiff to Palos Community Hospital (Hospital) where he was seen in the emergency

Page 126

room complaining of right-sided weakness and tingling and exhibiting slurred speech. While in the emergency room, the plaintiff underwent a number of diagnostic tests. He was admitted to the Hospital with a diagnosis of having suffered a transient ischemic attack (TIA). The initial assessment of the plaintiff was uncontrolled hypertension, secondary to noncompliance; and a TIA. The plaintiff remained a patient at the Hospital until his discharge on August 2, 2009. At the time of discharge, the plaintiff's ...


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