A 48-year old car salesman who fell on the employer's lot after he was fired can collect comp benefits in Missouri because his injury occurred within a reasonable time after his termination. The Commission recently awarded nearly $400,000. Hartman v DJSCMS/Suntrip Kia, 2014 MO WCLR Lexis 85 (lexis.com), 2014 MO WCLR Lexis 85 (Lexis Advance) (July 16, 2014).
"Injuries incurred by an employee while leaving the premises, collecting pay, or getting his clothing or tools within a reasonable time after termination of the employment are within the course of employment, since they are normal incidents of the employment relation." Missouri addressed the issue before statutory reform in Jones v Jay Truck Driving Training Center, 736 S.W.2d 468 (lexis.com), 736 S.W.2d 468 (Lexis Advance) (Mo. Ct. App. 1987) in which a worker fell down a flight of steps after he was terminated.
Hartman in January 2012 was going "immediately" to his car after he was fired and fell on ice. The ALJ awarded 60% PPD with future medical for a 360 fusion at L4-5. The employer offered no expert opinion contesting the amount of disability. The ALJ increased the compensation rate because claimant’s wages were atypical at the time of the accident.
Source: Martin Klug, Huck, Howe & Tobin. Read Martin Klug’s Mo. Workers’ Comp Alerts.
For more information about LexisNexis products and solutions connect with us through our corporate site