Ridge & Downes - Law Firm

  • Families v. Corporate Greed

    We stand with the families.

    The AFL-CIO reported the opinions of leading labor experts and their concerns about the implications of this strike, not just here in Joliet, Illinois, but throughout the country. To read more, click here.

    The New York Times also covered this story, here.

    Ridge & Associates is proud to support the 800 hard-working men and women of IAM Local Lodge 851 in their struggle against Caterpillar. When this strike started, we pledged to match donations, up to $10,000, to the IAM Local Lodge 851 Food Bank. If you would like to show your support, please make checks payable to IAM Local Lodge 851 Food Bank. Please send checks to: IAM Local Lodge 851, 13157 S. Thomas Dillon Drive, Suite B, Channahon, Illinois, 60410.

    A donation of any amount is greatly appreciated.

  • Fundraising Appeal to Defeat Gov. Scott Walker of WI

    You may be asking yourself, “Why should I care about a recall election in Wisconsin when I live in Illinois?”  The answer is clear – if Scott Walker remains the Governor of Wisconsin, his assault on collective bargaining and public employees will continue and travel south to Illinois. His actions have already inspired Illinois politicians to attack pensions and retiree health benefits.  We must stand in solidarity with the workers of Wisconsin and reject the growing movement against unionization and workers’ rights in this country.  This has become a national campaign about workers’ rights.

    On June 5th, there will be an election to recall Gov. Scott Walker.  Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett is the candidate to support.  Recent polls show that Walker retains an edge over Barrett.  We must act now and help the working people of Wisconsin!

    Last summer, Walker’s anti-collective bargaining bill received overwhelming national opposition that ultimately led to a federal court striking down part of the law.  Walker’s strategy has been to “divide and conquer” Wisconsin workers.  This strategy will spread across the country if workers everywhere don’t come together again in opposition of Walker.

    A governor has only been recalled twice in U.S. history.  However, no recall election has ever had this much support.  Over 1 million signatures were collected in just three months to support Walker’s recall, but only funds can make this a reality.  To stand up with the people of Wisconsin in support of workers’ rights, please donate to the recall campaign by clicking here.

    Please forward to your family and friends who may be concerned about maintaining the rights of the middle class.

    To read more facts about why Scott Walker should be recalled, click here.

  • Traveling Employee Exception

    Travel is often a necessary part of employment. Meetings, seminars, conferences, and training opportunities may require travel. Injuries to employees whose job duties require them to travel away from their primary place of employment are not governed by the same rules that are applicable to employees who work in a single location. 

    There is an often overlooked concept in workers’ compensation law known as the “traveling employee exception.” When using this exception, the determination of whether an employee’s injury is related to his/her employment depends on the reasonableness of the conduct that resulted in the injury and whether the conduct would normally be anticipated or foreseen by the employer when an employee is traveling. 

    There are several instances where this exception has allowed for favorable verdicts for injured workers. One notable case is Bagcraft Corp. v. Industrial Commission, where an employee was visiting a paper mill as a representative of his company. The employee was housed overnight with other employees at a lodge that offered recreational activities in which many of the employees participated. One of the activities offered was a ride on an All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV). Unfortunately, the employee was involved in an accident on his ATV and ultimately died. Applying the traveling employee exception as guidance, the Appellate Court ultimately found in the employee’s favor. 

    Similarly, Ridge & Associates successfully persuaded the Illinois Appellate Court to hold that our client, a firefighter attending an out-of-town seminar, was considered a traveling employee. While traveling, the firefighter’s co-worker initiated horseplay activities, which were found to be reasonable and foreseeable. As such, he was awarded all of his benefits due under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act.
    Cases that involve traveling employees are very fact-specific. As such, an insurance company will undoubtedly look for ways to deny payment of benefits. If you find yourself in a situation involving an injury that occurred while on employment-related business or travel, it is best that you contact an attorney immediately to ensure that your rights are protected and you are afforded all appropriate benefits under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act.

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