Missouri: Commission Expands Claims Against Fund

Missouri: Commission Expands Claims Against Fund

An employee  may collect benefits from the second injury fund, even though the underlying medical condition considered   by itself may not qualify for the minimum statutory threshold.  The Commission now clarifies what it perceives as a common “misperception” that prior impairments cannot be numerically  stacked together to reach statutory thresholds.   

The recent cases addressing this issue include:   Salviccio v Western Supplier Co., 2011 MOWCLR LEXIS 239 (Dec. 8, 2011); Witte v Sho-Me Livestock, 2011 MOWCLR LEXIS 240  (Dec. 8, 2011). Buhlinger v Sherrell Corp., 2011 MOWCLR LEXIS 241 (Dec. 8, 2011); and Calvert v Noranda Aluminum, 2011 MOWCLR LEXIS 242 (Dec. 8, 2011).

This interpretation  to expand potential benefits from the second injury fund may have little benefit to injured workers when the Fund has difficulty paying its current obligations.    The lesson, however,  may be for employers not to automatically avoid inquiry into otherwise minor pre-existing conditions in order to show a greater role of pre-existing conditions in disputed PTD claims. 

Source: Martin Klug, Huck, Howe & Tobin. Read Martin Klug's Mo. Workers' Comp Alerts.

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