Missouri: Trip and Fall on Public Street Found Compensable

Missouri: Trip and Fall on Public Street Found Compensable

A Missouri appellate court recently affirmed an decision of the state’s Labor and Industrial Relations Commission that awarded workers’ compensation benefits to an employee who sustained injuries when she tripped on a crack in the street while walking back to her office after going to look at a new office building her employer was having constructed.  The employee, along with her supervisor and another worker, went to the new building to see the new workstations because the countertops were being installed.  Watching for vehicles as she crossed a busy street, the employee tripped on a crack and fell.  The employer contended the injury did not arise out of and in the course of the employment because the employee was equally exposed to the risk in her normal, non-employment life.  Distinguishing a line of cases from the instant dispute, the court said that the employee was exposed to cracks in that particular street because of her employment. There was no evidence in the record that she had any exposure to this particular hazard during her non-employment life and therefore, the record could not support a conclusion by the Commission that she was equally exposed to that hazard in her non-employment life, as urged by employer.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is a leading commentator and expert on the law of workers’ compensation.

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance. Bracketed citations link to lexis.com.

See Dorris v. Stoddard County, 2014 Mo. App. LEXIS 94 (Jan. 31, 2014) [2014 Mo. App. LEXIS 94 (Jan. 31, 2014)]

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 6.02 [6.02]

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

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