August 2019 - Legislative, Regulatory, Judicial Updates

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The 2019 session ended on Friday, May 17th.  None of the proposed bills relevant to Missouri workers’ compensation which had been discussed in prior updates were passed.


The new mileage reimbursement rate from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020 is $0.55 per mile.


The new rates from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020 are $981.65 for TTD and PTD and $514.20 for PPD. 


Cosby v. Treasurer (MLW No. 73436/Case No. SC97317 – 17 pages) (Supreme Court of Missouri, Breckenridge).

  • Settlement Agreement
  • Rescission of Policy

Where an insurer challenged a trial court’s denial of a motion for a directed verdict against the wife of a deceased patient after a jury trial in which the insurer was the defendant, a settlement between the doctor and his insurer clearly set forth the parties’ agreement and the intent to rescind the policy, which eliminated coverage for the underlying lawsuit and waived any claims that the doctor had against the insurer, so the court erred in failing to direct a verdict for the insurer.

Judgement is reversed and remanded.

Cheney v. City of Gladstone (MLW No. 73309/Case No. WD81939 – 14 pages) Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District).

  • Occupational Disease
  • Death Benefits
  • Firefighter Decedent

Where a city employer challenged the grant of death and burial benefits under the Missouri Workers’ Compensation Act to the wife of a deceased employee, competent evidence established the required nexus between the decedent’s occupational exposure to carcinogenic fumes, smoke and particulates while working as a firefighter and his development of follicular non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and sufficient evidence supported the finding that the exposure as a firefighter was a prevailing factor in his development of the disease.

Judgment is affirmed.

Knutter v. American National Insurance (MLW No. 73218/Case No. SD35644 – 12 pages.  (Missouri Court of Appeals, Southern District, Sheffield J.).

  • Death Benefits
  • Sufficiency of Evidence
  • Substitution of Party

Where an employer challenged an award of death benefits to a deceased worker’s son after he was substituted as a personal representative after the worker’s husband died, the evidence was sufficient to support the finding that the work-related ankle injury was the prevailing factor that caused a fatal pulmonary embolism, so the award was proper, and the commission did not err in allowing the son to be substituted for the husband because the employer did not preserve its argument.

Judgment is affirmed.

Hogenmiller v. Mississippi Lime Company (MLW No. 73190/Case No. ED107016 – 7 pages.  (Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, James M. Dowd, Jr.).

  • Permanent Partial Disability
  • Tinnitus
  • Expert Testimony


Where an employer challenged an award of permanent partial disability to a worker who suffered from work-related tinnitus, the commission did not err in finding that an audiologist with a doctorate in hearing science was qualified to testify as an expert.

Judgment is affirmed.

Guinn v. Treasurer of the State of Missouri, SD35694

The Southern District ruled that a former employee alleging he suffered hearing loss at work wasn’t time-barred from receiving benefits from the Second Injury Fund.  His claim, the court found, was within two years of when his tinnitus was reasonable discoverable. 

Hegger v. Valle Farm Dairy Company, ED106278

The Eastern District said the family of a man who died from asbestos exposure can recover under a law that gives enhanced benefits for some toxic exposures diseases – even though the law was enacted decades after the employer went out of business.  Insurers now on the hook for the award have asked the Supreme Court to review the ruling. 

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