Case Law Update: Q3 2023

MISSOURI WORKERS’ COMPENSATION
LEGISLATIVE, REGULATORY, JUDICIAL UPDATES
QUARTER 3/2023

MILEAGE RATE:

The mileage reimbursement rate from July 1, 2023 to June 30, 2024 is $0.62.5 per mile.

PPD AND TTD RATE:

The rates from July 1, 2023 to June 30, 2024 are $1,186.51 for TTD and PTD and $621.51 for PPD.

LEGISLATION:

There has not been any significant legislation this quarter.

JUDICIAL:

City of Clinton vs. Robert Dahman (Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District – WD85780)

  • Workers’ Compensation – PTSD Award Affirmed

Statutes provide that elements of a claim for mental injury include a cause that is “extraordinary and unusual,” which a claimant showed by evidence of “unique workplace stressors.”  For a small-town police force, the murder of an officer was unprecedented, and expert testimony showed that the actual events left claimant with post-traumatic stress disorder.  Experts need not be physicians, and substantial and competent evidence supported the award, so the Court of Appeals affirms the award. 

The Commission’s Final Award Allowing Compensation is affirmed. 

Orthopedic Ambulatory Surgery Center of Chesterfield, LLC, and Chesterfield Spine Center, LLC, Appellants, vs. Sharpe Holdings, Inc., et al., Respondents (Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District – ED110859)

  • Workers Compensation is the exclusive remedy for providers

Statutes and regulations commit all disputes over medical bills related to workers’ compensation to the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission exclusively.  That includes not only disputes between a worker and an employer, but also between a health care provider and an employer, or between a health care provider and an employer’s insurer.  Providers may collect an amount “fair and reasonable and are not greater than the usual and customary fee” “through a statutorily mandated regulation constituting “ a lengthy and, again, comprehensive set of procedures available to employers, insurance carriers and health care providers to resolve disputes concerning charges for health care services [,] remarkable for its detail and comprehensiveness.”  Those provisions preempt all related common law theories of recovery, release “any person” from further liability, and are consistent with the Primary Jurisdiction Doctrine. 

For the foregoing reasons, we affirm.

John Lisle, Appellant, vs. Meyer Electric Co., Inc., Respondent (Supreme Court of Missouri – SC99670)

  • No action for post-termination retaliation

After appellant’s claims for workers’ compensation and wrongful discharge, respondent refused to re-hire appellant.  Appellant filed an action under statutes providing that an employer is liable for discrimination by an “employer” based on assertion of workers’ compensation rights by an “employee”.  Those terns are statutorily defined to mean a current employment relationship and strict construction resolves any ambiguity.  Appellant was not in respondent’s employ, and therefore not strictly an “employee”, when the refusal occurred.  Therefore, the Supreme Court of Missouri did not err in entering summary judgment for respondent. 

Judgment is affirmed. 

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Case Law Update Q3 2023