Missouri: Benefits Denied For a Train Inspector Who Fell From a Rail Car

Missouri: Benefits Denied For a Train Inspector Who Fell From a Rail Car

A 58-year old train inspector fell more than 20 feet from the top of  a rail car resulting in injuries to his back and shoulder.  He failed to establish he had an accident to pursue a PTD  claim against the second injury fund because he "unfortunately" had no idea how his fall occurred.  Gleason established his injuries flowed from his fall but he needed to show something more than his duties required him to work at an elevation.  “Employee's inability to tell us why he fell is fatal to this claim. Since we do not know what hazards or risks gave rise to employee's fall, we cannot determine if those hazards or risks are related or unrelated to employment and we cannot determine if workers are equally exposed to those hazards or risks outside of and unrelated to employment in their normal nonemployment lives.” The accident was not witnessed, no one testified about the circumstances of the accident scene, and the worker  had no personal recollection of the fall. Gleason returned to work briefly until a post-accident stroke rendered him unemployable. The employer  settled the claim. Gleason v Ceva Logistics, 2014 MO WCLR Lexis 69 (lexis.com), 2014 MO WCLR Lexis 69 (Lexis Advance) (May 15, 2014).   A dissent argued the majority unfairly denied claimant of benefits because he had a poor memory.

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

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