Workers' Compensation

Recent Posts

MO: Western District Announces 'Open Season' On Employers
Posted on 15 Sep 2011 by Martin Klug

Just when Missouri business was feeling good about things after comp reform, the court of appeals has now announced open season and allows claimants with occupational disease cases to go after their employers in circuit court instead of comp. State ex... Read More

Total Disability Before Job Injury Precludes Fund Recovery
Posted on 18 Mar 2011 by Martin Klug

A claimant’s lack of candor about a prior medical condition while obtaining a new job may help to prove a prior disability. In Cook v Buckley Powder Company , DOLIR 3-17-11, the Commission found that no employer would have hired claimant in his... Read More

MO: Spouse Awarded Lifetime Benefits for PTD Claimant
Posted on 24 Sep 2010 by Martin Klug

A recent court of appeals case affirming a PTD award addressed two important issues: the impact of an application for unemployment benefits on TTD benefits and when a dependent spouse in a PTD case before 2008 may receive benefits even if a claimant dies... Read More

MO: Cleaning Bathroom Doesn’t Render Claimant Totally Disabled
Posted on 9 Aug 2011 by Martin Klug

Claimant alleged he choked and sustained a myocardial infarction from noxious fumes after he sprayed an apartment bathroom on one occasion to remove mold. The claimant's expert attributed claimant's symptoms to muriatic acid fumes. The Commission... Read More

Commission Denies Accident From Stray Golf Ball
Posted on 18 Mar 2011 by Martin Klug

A former deputy sheriff who was struck in the head with a golf ball could not recover benefits, because his accident arose from a recreational activity and claimant’s participation did not produce a mutual benefit for the employer, according to... Read More

MO: Court Remands Permanent Total Claim for Arthritis
Posted on 13 Oct 2010 by Martin Klug

The Missouri court of appeals remanded an alleged permanent total claim against the Second Injury Fund based on a claim that two different types of arthritis synergistically combined. The Commission denied benefits and found that claimant’s work... Read More

MO: Court of Appeals Expands Survivor Benefits
Posted on 9 Mar 2011 by Martin Klug

More surviving spouses can now recover benefits for life under a recent Missouri court of appeals case. In Gervich v Condaire , ED 94726 (Mo. App. 2011), decided 3-8-11, the court of appeals found a surviving spouse could recover life-time benefits even... Read More

MO: Hunting Trip Accident Denied Under Mutual Benefit Doctrine
Posted on 7 Mar 2011 by Martin Klug

Claimant failed to prove benefits under the mutual benefit or dual purpose doctrine when he flipped his truck on a country road at 5:45 a.m. on a Saturday morning. Claimant was found in camouflage with a deer rifle in his truck. The Commission reversed... Read More

MO: Juror Reporting for Service Awarded Benefits
Posted on 25 Apr 2011 by Martin Klug

The Commission in a case of first impression concluded that a prospective juror who fell on a parking lot while reporting to jury duty was an employee under the Act by the County that summoned him for service. Claimant parked his car and walked to report... Read More

MO: Commission Rejects "Illegal Alien" Defense
Posted on 22 Jul 2011 by Martin Klug

The employer argued that the claimant was not entitled to any benefits because she was an illegal alien. The claimant, 42, admits she was trying to "work out" her immigration status. She admitted crossing the Mexican border illegally 19 years... Read More

MO: Court Sanctions Employer For Seeking Injunctive Relief From Temporary Award
Posted on 11 Nov 2010 by Martin Klug

The western court of appeals recently sanctioned an employer $81,609 in attorney’s fees for making a constitutional challenge that it had a right to appeal a temporary award, contrary to a state rule and unfavorable precedent. The case is Motor... Read More

MO: ALJ Jobs Lost by Budget Cuts
Posted on 24 Nov 2010 by Martin Klug

The court of appeals resolved whether three most newly appointed administrative law judges can lose their jobs by state budget cuts or only by unfavorable performance review. The ALJs had obtained an injunction to save their jobs, when the Director eliminated... Read More

MO: 50% Safety Penalty to All Compensation for Climbing Ladder Improperly
Posted on 25 Jul 2011 by Martin Klug

The Commission affirmed a 2-1 award imposing a 50% safety penalty for a safety foreman who intentionally carried a 100-pound bag on a 40 foot ladder contrary to a company safety rule to require three-point contact while using a ladder. The claimant argued... Read More

MO: Commission Awards PTD for Depression, Reversing Findings of Temporary Award
Posted on 3 Aug 2011 by Martin Klug

MO: Commission Awards PTD for Depression, Reversing Findings of Temporary Award Claimant can no longer work due to depression, according to a Commission decision affirming a PTD award. Venable v St. Louis Bridge Co. , DOLIR 7-26-11. Claimant hurt... Read More

MO: Open Medical Still Awarded When Claimant Refused to Treat
Posted on 13 Dec 2010 by Martin Klug

A claimant who refuses to pursue recommended medical treatment or tests does not waive her right to future medical care in a final award, according to a recent Commission case Katherine Hunt v Daimler Chrysler , DOLIR 12-3-10, reversing the ALJ’s... Read More

  • Blog Post: MO: Spouse Awarded Lifetime Benefits for PTD Claimant

    A recent court of appeals case affirming a PTD award addressed two important issues: the impact of an application for unemployment benefits on TTD benefits and when a dependent spouse in a PTD case before 2008 may receive benefits even if a claimant dies from unrelated causes. Claimant underwent...
  • Blog Post: MO: No Medical History? No Problem.

    Medical records did not have to document a work injury to obtain disability benefits, according to the Missouri Court of Appeals in the case Daly v Powell Distributing , WD 71575, 71576 (Mo. App. 9-28-10). The court of appeals remanded claimant’s two cases to re-address whether claimant was...
  • Blog Post: MO: Court Remands Permanent Total Claim for Arthritis

    The Missouri court of appeals remanded an alleged permanent total claim against the Second Injury Fund based on a claim that two different types of arthritis synergistically combined. The Commission denied benefits and found that claimant’s work-related osteoarthritis did not combine with pre-existing...
  • Blog Post: MO: Fall Out Of Bed Defeats Causation

    A company president tripped over a telephone cord at work but failed to prove her radius fractures arose from work and not from falling out of bed the following morning. The court in Bond v Site Line Surveying , WD 72142 (Mo. App. 10-12-10), agreed that substantial evidence supported the Commission’s...
  • Blog Post: MO: Court Sanctions Employer For Seeking Injunctive Relief From Temporary Award

    The western court of appeals recently sanctioned an employer $81,609 in attorney’s fees for making a constitutional challenge that it had a right to appeal a temporary award, contrary to a state rule and unfavorable precedent. The case is Motor Control Specialties, Inc. And the Ohio Casualty Ins...
  • Blog Post: MO: ALJ Jobs Lost by Budget Cuts

    The court of appeals resolved whether three most newly appointed administrative law judges can lose their jobs by state budget cuts or only by unfavorable performance review. The ALJs had obtained an injunction to save their jobs, when the Director eliminated the positions in June 2009 after reductions...
  • Blog Post: MO: Smoker Awarded PTD for Lung Disease

    The Commission awarded life-time benefits to a mechanic because of COPD and pleural fibrosis, caused by smoking cigarettes and working as a mechanic exposed to pipe insulation, smoke, dust and fumes for 32 years. Medical experts agreed that work and "many years" as a smoker both contributed...
  • Blog Post: MO: Open Medical Still Awarded When Claimant Refused to Treat

    A claimant who refuses to pursue recommended medical treatment or tests does not waive her right to future medical care in a final award, according to a recent Commission case Katherine Hunt v Daimler Chrysler , DOLIR 12-3-10, reversing the ALJ’s denial of future medical. The administrative law...
  • Blog Post: MO: Personal Comfort Doctrine Allows Benefits For Making Coffee At Work

    Missouri reform narrowed the definition of accident and left unresolved whether accidents arising out of activities that were not part of an employee’s direct job duties were still compensable. A hazard of employment may still arise under employment under the personal comfort doctrine, even if...
  • Blog Post: MO: Hunting Trip Accident Denied Under Mutual Benefit Doctrine

    Claimant failed to prove benefits under the mutual benefit or dual purpose doctrine when he flipped his truck on a country road at 5:45 a.m. on a Saturday morning. Claimant was found in camouflage with a deer rifle in his truck. The Commission reversed an award of permanent and total benefits to the...
  • Blog Post: MO: Commission Reverses Sanctions For Tenuous Defense

    The failure to introduce any medical evidence may not be much of a defense, but the limited defense is not so egregious as to warrant sanctions under 287.560 , according to two recent Commission decisions, reversing awards of sanctions from two different administrative law judges against the Second Injury...
  • Blog Post: MO: Court of Appeals Expands Survivor Benefits

    More surviving spouses can now recover benefits for life under a recent Missouri court of appeals case. In Gervich v Condaire , ED 94726 (Mo. App. 2011), decided 3-8-11, the court of appeals found a surviving spouse could recover life-time benefits even if a PTD claimant died after the legislature in...
  • Blog Post: Total Disability Before Job Injury Precludes Fund Recovery

    A claimant’s lack of candor about a prior medical condition while obtaining a new job may help to prove a prior disability. In Cook v Buckley Powder Company , DOLIR 3-17-11, the Commission found that no employer would have hired claimant in his job to handle and lift explosives if he had been candid...
  • Blog Post: Commission Denies Accident From Stray Golf Ball

    A former deputy sheriff who was struck in the head with a golf ball could not recover benefits, because his accident arose from a recreational activity and claimant’s participation did not produce a mutual benefit for the employer, according to a 2-1 Commission decision. Beine v County of St. Charles...
  • Blog Post: MO: Juror Reporting for Service Awarded Benefits

    The Commission in a case of first impression concluded that a prospective juror who fell on a parking lot while reporting to jury duty was an employee under the Act by the County that summoned him for service. Claimant parked his car and walked to report to jury duty when he fell. Claimant did not have...
  • Blog Post: MO: Commission Rejects "Illegal Alien" Defense

    The employer argued that the claimant was not entitled to any benefits because she was an illegal alien. The claimant, 42, admits she was trying to "work out" her immigration status. She admitted crossing the Mexican border illegally 19 years earlier and that she was not naturalized but denied...
  • Blog Post: MO: 50% Safety Penalty to All Compensation for Climbing Ladder Improperly

    The Commission affirmed a 2-1 award imposing a 50% safety penalty for a safety foreman who intentionally carried a 100-pound bag on a 40 foot ladder contrary to a company safety rule to require three-point contact while using a ladder. The claimant argued he didn't have the equipment to move the...
  • Blog Post: MO: Commission Awards PTD for Depression, Reversing Findings of Temporary Award

    MO: Commission Awards PTD for Depression, Reversing Findings of Temporary Award Claimant can no longer work due to depression, according to a Commission decision affirming a PTD award. Venable v St. Louis Bridge Co. , DOLIR 7-26-11. Claimant hurt his back and required a multi-level fusion. He had...
  • Blog Post: MO: Slip at Work Becomes Slippery Slope for Employer

    A 59-year old Dangerous Building Inspector was found unable to work as a result of a 2002 accident when his right foot became stuck in a hole, based on an 88-page opinion affirmed by the Commission. Pace v. St. Joseph , DOLIR 8-4-11. The claimant developed a cascade of problems following a knee...
  • Blog Post: MO: Cleaning Bathroom Doesn’t Render Claimant Totally Disabled

    Claimant alleged he choked and sustained a myocardial infarction from noxious fumes after he sprayed an apartment bathroom on one occasion to remove mold. The claimant's expert attributed claimant's symptoms to muriatic acid fumes. The Commission denied benefits in the claim against the second...