Case Law Update: Q2 2023

MISSOURI WORKERS’ COMPENSATION
LEGISLATIVE, REGULATORY, JUDICIAL UPDATES
QUARTER 2/2023

MILEAGE RATE:

The mileage reimbursement rate from July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023 is $0.59.5 per mile.

PPD AND TTD RATE:

The rates from July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023 are $1,160.17 for TTD and PTD and $607.71 for PPD.

LEGISLATION:

There has not been any significant legislation this quarter.

JUDICIAL:

Suzanne Steinbach vs. Maxion Wheels, Sedalia, LLC, Hayes Lemmerz International (Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District – WD85697)

  • Prevailing factor discussed

On a claim of occupational disease, claimant has the burden of proving that employment was the prevailing factor, that is, that claimant “contracted an occupationally induced disease rather than an ordinary disease of life.”  Claimant met the burden of producing evidence supporting her claim, if persuasive to the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission, but did not meet her burden of persuading the Commission.  The issue was the subject of opposing expert witnesses, the Commission determined credibility, and the Court of Appeals defers to that determination. 

The Commission’s final award is affirmed. 

LME, Inc. vs. Robert Powell and Second Injury Fund (Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District – WD85427)

  • Stipulation applied

Labor and Industrial Relations Commission must hold the parties to their stipulations, including a date for maximum medical improvement, applicable to both physical and psychological injuries.  Statute sets a time limit for concluding the evidentiary hearing, but employer did not object to multiple continuances beyond that limit, so preserved no error for appeal.

For the foregoing reasons, the Final Award of the Commission is affirmed.

Jeannie E. Harper, Claimant-Respondent vs. Springfield Rehab and Healthcare Center/NHC Health, Employer-Appellant Premier Group Insurance Company Corvel Enterprise Company, Inc. (TPA), Insurer-Appellant and Treasurer of Missouri as Custodian of the Second Injury Fund, Additional Party-Respondent (Missouri Court of Appeals, Southern District – SD37268)

  • Objective Symptoms of an Injury Shown

Statutes define an accident  to include an event “producing at the time objective symptoms of an injury [,]” meaning signs of anatomical violence perceptible to others.  That included the strain that claimant felt when pushing a heavy cart, which produced difficulty walking later that shift.  Rule requires citation to the statutory authority for appellate court review of an agency decision.  Failure to comply with that rule and others impedes review of appellant’s points except one. 

Subpart (B) of Employer’s first point is denied, and the Commission’s award and decision is affirmed. 

 

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Case Law Update Q2 2023