Nowak v. City of Country Club HillsAnnotate this Case
For 12 months following his injury, plaintiff, a police officer injured on duty, received salary under the Public Employee Disability Act. For a short time thereafter, he received salary through a combination of accrued sick and vacation time, light duty, and temporary total disability payments under the Workers’ Compensation Act. While plaintiff received salary under PEDA, the city deducted 20 percent of his health insurance premiums from his paycheck, in accordance with the collective bargaining agreement. After PEDA benefits expired, plaintiff continued to pay 20 percent of the premiums. When he was awarded a line-of-duty disability pension under the Illinois Pension Code, the city began paying 100 percent of the premiums, as required by the Public Safety Employee Benefits Act, 820 ILCS 320/10(a). Plaintiff's request for reimbursement for premiums paid since the date of injury was refused. The circuit court entered summary judgment for the city. The appellate court reversed. The Illinois Supreme Court reversed the appellate court. Under PSEBA, an employer's obligation to pay the entire health insurance premium for an injured officer and his family attaches on the date that it is determined that the injury is "catastrophic," the date it is determined that the injured officer is permanently disabled and eligible for a line-of-duty disability pension.