Some of the more significant changes in the Missouri Workers' Compensation Law which took place in 2005 included amendments to the statutory sections which define what constitutes an "accident" that arises out of and in the course of employment under RSMo. 287.020.2, and then the corresponding obligation by the Employer and the Insurer to provide medical treatment after the injury or disability to help relieve from the effects of the injury.
A. Application of Exclusive Remedy of Workers' Compensation
There is much talk in politics addressing "tort reform" and "placing caps of noneconomic damages." What does all this mean? Some politicians, in an effort to garner support from the insurance industry and the healthcare industry, support legislation that limits or "caps" a party's recovery in the courtroom. In particular, there is a desire to limit the amount of money a jury can award for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of companionship, etc. These harms that patients and their family suffer from are called noneconomic damages.
Oftentimes when we first meet with a client regarding a work injury, the client emphasizes why a work accident occurred due to the 'fault' of his or her employer. While the failure of an employer to comply with a state statute may increase an award due an injured employee, an employer subject to Missouri's workers' compensation laws is responsible to furnish compensation to an injured employee "irrespective of negligence" on the part of the employer.
Most employers require newly hired employees to sign a number of forms at orientation. Some even require their employees to waive their right to bring a civil lawsuit in the future as a condition of employment. Employers accomplish this goal by including "arbitration agreements" among the stack of documents the new employee signs. Employees are typically so happy to have landed a job-they don't even consider what they are signing.
Our Constitution guarantees that that government will make "no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or the press." The importance of this right cannot be overstated, as Benjamin Franklin famously said, "[w]hoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech." A few short weeks ago the Supreme Court of the United States affirmed this important right by protecting government employees from termination when speaking honestly about their jobs.
How can one find out about a doctor's training and whether said doctor has ever been involved in significant litigation or in trouble with regulatory agencies?
During his 2014 State of the Union Address, President Obama made it a point to address Congress' failure to renew an emergency aid program that expired on December 28. The "Emergency Unemployment Compensation" program was passed in 2008 to help laid-off workers deal with the recession. Normally, states and the federal government would work together to provide workers with a fraction of their salary...
"Right to work" legislation is once again in the news, particularly here in Southwest Missouri, as a result of republican Missouri state representative Eric Burlison's recent comments suggesting he plans to refile a "right to work" bill for the 2014 Missouri House regular session beginning in January. Burlison claims the legislation, if passed, would woo aircraft manufacturer Boeing into choosing...