Missouri Workers Comp Court Ruling a Mixed Bag

February 24, 2009 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Justices at Missouri's Supreme Court have opened the state's worker's compensation system to a group of workers formerly excluded by a definition of accidental injury that was narrowed in 2005.

The ruling in Missouri Alliance for Retired Americans vs. Department of Labor was a mixed bag because the court also turned away arguments by 71 labor unions and their allies that the 2005 workers’ compensation law amendments were unconstitutional, according to a Business Insurance news report. Labor backers had argued that the amendments limited the rights of injured workers.

“The removal of certain injuries and accidents from the scope of the act places workers who have suffered those injuries outside the workers’ compensation system,” the court ruled. “Those workers now can recover under the common law as they no longer fall within the exclusivity provision of the workers comp law.

Which cases now have remedies under the Missouri workers comp system or in civil court need to be decided on a case-by-case basis, the court said.

The opinion is available  here .