There is nothing in the entire field of law which has called forth more disagreement, or upon which the opinions are in such a welter of confusion’ than causation.” Templemire v. W&M Welding, Inc., No. SC 93132, 2014 WL 1464574, at*9 (Mo. banc April 15, 2014) (quoting Prosser and Keeton on Torts, § 41 at 263 (5th ed. 1984). In a 5 – 2 decision, the Missouri Supreme Court overruled its own precedent on the appropriate causation standard for workers’ compensation retaliation claims. Id. Plaintiffs no longer need to prove that filing a workers’ compensation claim was the “exclusive cause” of an adverse employment action. They only need to prove that the workers’ compensation claim was a “contributing factor” in their employer’s decision to take an adverse employment action against them.
Kelly Campbell discusses a new Missouri law addressing two prominent issues related to workplace injuries and illnesses. First, the bill makes it clear that certain occupational diseases are covered under the state’s Worker’s Compensation law. Second, the law provides additional funding for the Second Injury Fund, which provides employers an incentive to hire disabled workers.
On July 10, 2012, in a positive development for Missouri employers, Governor Jay Nixon signed into law H.B. 1540, an amendment to the Worker’s Compensation statute that effectively prevents liability of individual employees for workplace injuries caused by negligence. The law essentially overturns a Missouri Court of Appeals decision that allowed such lawsuits.