MO Workers Comp: Claimant found permanently and totally disabled from changing bed sheets
On January 30, 2018, the Industrial Commission handed down an appalling decision in Kalajdzic v. St. Louis Children’s Hospital (January 30, 2018). (To read the decision, click HERE )
Claimant alleges she was injured changing bed sheets and underwent lumbar disc surgery. She also alleged that she had psychiatric issues due to ongoing complaints of pain.
The Administrative Law Judge denied the claim, finding that there was no evidence of any actual accident and all of claimant’s medical issues pre-dated the alleged work accident.
The Industrial Commission reversed, and further found claimant to be permanently and totally disabled. Perm total was assessed against the Second Injury Fund, and the Employer was ordered to pay:
• 35% of the body ($43,000)
• Past medical bills ($110,000)
• Future medical care for life
All from changing bed sheets with all conditions pre-existing.
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
The Administrative Law Judge DENIED this claim, and yet the Commission reversed and hit the Employer for $153,000 plus future medical. Why did this happen? Because the Commission currently has only 2 Commissioners – – the Chairman who is a life-long plaintiff attorney, and the employee representative who of course advocates for awarding compensation even when the claim has been denied by the Administrative Law Judge.
The Employer representative position on the Commission is currently vacant, and has been for the past 12 months.
I started working with the Governor’s office a few months ago to fill both the vacant Employer seat on the Industrial Commission, as well as working to replace the current Chairman of the Industrial Commission whose term ends on June 1, 2018.
I will keep you advised on the status of filling the vacant seat on the Commission as well as the status of replacing the current Chairman of the Industrial Commission once his terms ends on June 1.
If you have any questions or wish to discuss anything related to this decision or issues with the Industrial Commission, please let me know.