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Workers' Compensation

Missouri: County Investigator’s COPD Tied to Pigeon Droppings on Courthouse Roof

An investigator working for a Missouri county prosecutor’s office, who claimed that he suffered chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (“COPD”) as a result of breathing fungus and a bacteria associated with pigeon droppings, and further, that he had been exposed to anhydrous ammonia while investigating a mobile meth lab in 2002, sustained an injury arising out of and in the course of his employment, held a Missouri appellate court. Moreover, his untimely death from complications of pneumonia and COPD entitled his widow to death benefits as well. Prior to his death, the investigator testified that when he went to work for the county he initially smoked in a basement area provided for that purpose. Subsequently, at the suggestion of a colleague, he began to go up to the roof to smoke. He indicated it helped him clear his mind. Competent and substantial evidence supported the Commission’s finding that his injuries arose out of and in the course of the employment.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is the co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law (LexisNexis).

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance.

See Lankford v. Newton County, 2017 Mo. App. LEXIS 29 (Jan. 17, 2017)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 42.03.

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law