November 2018 Update - Legislative, Regulatory, Judicial

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There was no significant legislation affecting Missouri workers’ compensation that was passed during this quarter.  Republican Representative Robert Cornejo was appointed as Chairman of the State Labor and Industrial Relations Commission.  He replaces Chairman John Larson, Jr.  The Division of Workers’ Compensation in St. Charles was reopened as of November 1, 2018.  Judge Kohner and Judge Landolt from the St. Louis Division were transferred to St. Charles. 


The mileage reimbursement rate from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019 is $0.54.2 per mile.


The rates from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019 are $947.64 for TTD and PTD and $496.38 for PPD. 


Harley Davidson Motor Company, Inc. v. Jones (MLW No. 72050/Case No. WD81155 – 9 pages) (Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District).

  • Written Notice
  • Findings of Fact

Where an employer and insurer challenged an award in favor of claimant for a work-related injury, arguing that the claimant failed to provide timely notice of his lower back injury, the judgment is affirmed because even though the claimant did not include his address in the report of injury, the employer had actual knowledge of the injury and did not show prejudice, and the record did not show that the employer asked for clarification of the commission’s factual summary or any additional findings of fact, so the commission did not err by failing to make specific factual findings. 

Judgement is affirmed.   

AB Electrical, Inc. v. Franklin (MLW No. 72076/Case No. WD81156 – 15 pages) Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District).

  • Temporary Award
  • Judicial Review

Where an employer challenged a temporary award of benefits to a worker injured in a work-related accident, the appellate court does not have authority to review a temporary award to determine employer liability before the entry of the final award, so the appeal is dismissed for lack of a final judgment. 

Appeal dismissed.

Clark v. Dairy Farmers of America (MLW No. 71379/Case No. SD34826 – 10 pages.  (Missouri Court of Appeals, Southern District).

  • Compensable Injury
  • “Accident”
  • Unusual Strain

Where an employer challenged a workers’ compensation award, arguing that the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission erred be 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.

Wilkins v. Piramal Glass USA, Inc. MLW No. 71443/Case No. ED 105683 – 12 pages.  (Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District). 

  • Compensable Injury
  • Staph Infection
  • Medical Bills
  • Where an employee tore his calf muscle arising from an “awkward squatting position” while replacing a part on a machine at work, the evidence showed that the claimant was injured because he was at work performing his required activities, and sufficient evidence supported a finding that treatment for a staph infection flowed from this compensable injury and was required for treatment of the compensable injury.
  • Where an employer argued that the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission erred in admitting a claimant’s medical bills and billing index as hearsay, the evidence was properly admitted as certified business records.

Judgment is affirmed. 

Accident Fund Insurance Company v. Casey (MLW No. 71692/Case No. SC6899 – 13 pages) (Supreme Court of Missouri).

  • Mesothelioma Policy Benefits
  • Liability
  • Adult Children

Where the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission awarded enhanced mesothelioma benefits to a deceased worker’s widow but not his adult children, the insurer was liable for the benefits under the policy, and the law was not unconstitutionally retrospective as applied to the claim, but the law did not limit recovery to dependent children, and the adult children were properly listed on the claim, so the judgment is affirmed as modified to include the adult children.

Judgement is affirmed as modified. 

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