The Missouri Legislature and Governor Blunt revised the Worker's Compensation
Law. These changes took effect August 28, 2005.
Injury: Under the old law, to be compensable the employment must be "a substantial
factor in causing the injury." After August 28, 2005, to be compensable,
the accident must be "the
prevailing factor in causing the injury."
Prevailing Factor: the "primary factor, in relation to any other factor, causing both
the resulting medical condition and disability."
Accident: "An unexpected traumatic event or unusual strain identifiable by
time and place of occurrence and producing at the time objective symptoms
of an injury caused by a specific event during a single work shift."
Occupational diseases and injuries due to repetitive motion "are compensable only if the
occupational exposure was the prevailing factor" in developing the disease.
Permanent Partial Disability: Permanent Partial Disability or permanent total disability shall be demonstrated
and certified by a physician. Medical opinions addressing compensability
and disability shall be stated within a reasonable degree of medical certainity.
In determining compensability and disability, where inconsistent or conflicting
medical opinions exist, objective medical findings shall prevail over
subjective medical findings. Objective medical findings are those findings demonstrable on physical
examination or by appropriate tests or diagnostic procedures;
Any award of compensation shall be reduced by an amount proportional to
the permanent partial disability determined to be a preexisting disease
or condition or attributed to the natural process of aging sufficient
to cause or prolong the disability or need of treatment.
Heart Attacks: "A cardiovascular, pulmonary, respiratory or other disease, or cerebrovascular
accident or myocardial infarction suffered by a worker is an injury only
if the accident is the prevailing factor in causing the resulting medical
Repetitive Motion: An injury due to repetitive motion is recognized as an occupational disease,
but is compensable only if the occupational exposure was the prevailing
factor in causing both the resulting medical condition and disability.
Gradual deterioration, or progressive degeneration of the body caused
by aging or by the normal activites of day-to-day living shall not be
Last Exposure: Under the former law, the employer who last exposed the employee to the
hazard prior to the claim being filed was liable. Now, the employer who
exposed the employee to the hazard
prior to evidence of disability, is liable.
Objective symptoms: Black's law dictionary defines as "Those which a surgeon or
physician discovers from an examination of his patient; "Subjective
symptoms" being those which he learns from what his patient tells him.
Ideal Medical Opinion Language from Claimant's Perspective
Within a resonable degree of medical certainty and based primarily on objective
findings of [state objective finding] the prevailing factor of claimant's
injuries and resulting disability are [an injury caused by an unexpected
and single traumatic event on date] or [an occupational disease caused
by__]. Also within a reasonable degree of medical certainty, based on
my examination, objective findings, a review of the medical records, and
my training and practice in the field of medicine, Claimant is now at
maximum medical improvement from his work injury and has permanent partial
disability at the level of the (state body part) in the amount of percent.
Claimant will require future medical care, including prescriptions for
his entire life.
Mark Cantor’s opinion – I believe these changes in Missouri
law, signed and promoted by our former Republican Governor, are wrong
and went too far. As a result, I am filing many more civil lawsuits as
well as aggressively pursuing our work comp claims. Call us if you need
us at 314 542 9999 and we will personally handle your case.