Cook County taxpayers will write a $14,022 check to a custodian who claims she twice injured her back by "reaching around to pick up a piece of toilet paper," according to county documents.
More than 1,000 county workers file workers compensation claims each year, but this one got the attention of County Commissioner Bridget Gainer, who spent 11 years in the insurance industry.
"Do I think it's excessive? I think we end up compensating employees for illnesses and injuries they bring with them to work," she said after Wednesday's meeting in which the settlement was approved.
Gainer stressed she didn't know anything about the custodian's case.
Mary Lait, the worker injured on the job in October 1997 and March 1998, remains a custodian in the sheriff's office, according to sheriff's spokesman Steve Patterson.
The state's attorney's staff defends the county in these claims. Deputy State's Attorney Pat Driscoll had no details about the Lait case.
Driscoll said anyone filing a claim must prove the injury happened in the line of duty.