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Missouri: Injuries at Doctor’s Office Did Not Arise Out of and in Course of Employment

May 17, 2020 (1 min read)

Finding that the risk of being tripped while at a doctor's office for treatment of a work-related exposure to an insecticide was a risk to which the employee was equally exposed outside her employment, a Missouri appellate court affirmed a decision by the state's LIRC denying workers' compensation benefits for an alleged aggravation claim. The underlying facts were quite bizarre. Following a work-related exposure to cypermethrin, an insecticide, the employee was sent to an emergency medical facility, after which she returned to work. When she continued to have breathing issues, she was referred to a pulmonary specialist. The employee sat in the specialist's waiting room near another patient who had a small dog with her. As the employee was being called back for the examination, the dog got loose and, in an effort to divert the dog from the employee's path, the doctor accidentally kicked the employee in the leg, causing her to fall. An ALJ found the fall and ensuing injuries were the “natural and probable consequence of” the cypermethrin exposure. The Commission reversed, however, finding that the employee failed to meet her burden of proving her cypermethrin exposure was the “prevailing or primary factor” in causing her injury at the doctor's office. The appellate court agreed.

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

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance.

See Schoen v. Mid-Missouri Mental Health Ctr., 2020 Mo. LEXIS 127 (Apr. 14, 2020)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 10.07.

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

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