February 2018 Update - Legislative, Regulatory, Judicial

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Proposed House Bill 1693 has been filed which would change rules for occupational disease covered under workers’ compensation. 


The mileage reimbursement rate from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018 is $.50.5 per mile.


The rates from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018 are $923.01 for TTD and PTD and $483.48 for PPD. 


Accident Fund Ins. Co. v. Casey, et al. (MLW No. 71265/Case No. WD80470) (Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District).

  • Last Exposure Rule
  • Occupational Disease

Where claimant was awarded benefits for exposure to asbestos and the commission applied 287.200.4, the constitutional challenge to the application of Section 287.200.4 to an occupational disease claim where the employee’s last exposure to the hazard of the occupational disease predates the statute’s effective date is a matter of the first impression and is within the Missouri Supreme Court’s exclusive jurisdiction.    

Transferred to Missouri Supreme Court

Glasco v. Treasurer (MLW No. 711227/Case No. WD80186 – 15 pages) Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District).

  • Permanent Total Disability
  • Pre-Existing Disability
  • Combined Effect

Where the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission denied a worker’s claim for permanent total disability, the commission did not err because the claimant did not provide that the combined effect of her work injury and pre-existing disabilities resulted in PTD since the evidence showed that the PTD resulted solely from a pre-existing low back condition, and the parties’ stipulations did not relieve the claimant of her burden of proof. 

Judgment is affirmed.

Morris v. Captain D’s (MLW No. 71378/Case No. SD34835/34836) (Missouri Court of Appeals, Southern District).

  • Compensable Injury
  • “Accident”
  • Unusual Strain

Where an employer challenged a portion of a workers’ compensation award, arguing that the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission erred by determining that claimant’s rib fracture, manifested by a popping sensation, was both the injury and the accident, the Missouri Supreme Court has held that the commission does not need to specifically pinpoint the accident and injury for an award to be upheld, and in this case the commission carefully evaluated the relevant facts and competing expert opinion, so the commission properly found that the claimant suffered an unusual strain as required under the law, and the award was supported by competent and substantial evidence. 

Judgment is affirmed.

Conagra Foods, Inc. v. Phillips (MLW No. 70999/Case No. WD80535 – 14 pages) (Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District)

  • “Arising Out of”
  • Fall From Ramp

Where an employee was injured when he fell from a graded ramp entering a break room, the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission did not err in finding that ramp was a risk source that he would not have been exposed to in his everyday life, and that the employee suffered an injury arising out of and in the course of his employment, so the award of workers’ compensation benefits is affirmed. 

Judgment is affirmed.

Ulysses White v. ConAgra Packaged Foods, LLC (MLW No. 71267/Case No. SC96041 – 9 pages) (Appeal from the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission)

  • Prevailing Factor
  • Heart Attack
  • Causation

Where claimant’s husband died when he suffered a cardiovascular event while at work, and benefits were denied as employee had several risk factors for coronary artery disease, it was a proper denial as evidence that claimant was working 12-hour days and the work place got up to 100 degrees were not enough and claimant failed to provide persuasive expert testimony on the issue of medical causation and did not show work was the prevailing factor in causation the resulting medical condition.

Judgment is affirmed.

Mantia v. Department of Transportation (MLW No. 71019/Case No. SC95885 – 10 pages) (Supreme Court of Missouri).

  • Mental Injury
  • Compensability
  • Statutory Requirements

Where an employer challenged an award of workers’ compensation benefits and future medical care to a highway worker for mental injury based on her stress from assisting at accident scenes for more than 20 years, the award is vacated and the case is remanded because the worker’s testimony and her doctors’ testimony was insufficient to meet the statutorily required objective standard of proving  that her stress was extraordinary and unusual, and the worker must show that the actual events that she experienced were such that a reasonable highway worker would experience extraordinary and unusual stress. 

Vacated; remanded

Barnes v. Treasurer (MLW No. 71145/Case No. ED105508 – 7 pages) Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District).

  • SIF Liability
  • Single Expert

 Where the Second Injury Fund challenged a finding of partial liability for permanent total disability benefits, arguing that no single expert testified both that the claimant was permanently and totally disabled and that the disability resulted from a combination of preexisting disabilities and the disability from the last injury, the judgment is affirmed because there is no requirement that a single expert provide such testimony, and the award was supported by the record.

Judgment is affirmed.

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