A lot has been going on in Missouri in worker’s compensation in recent court decisions.
A month after the settlement claimant demanded more treatment for a total knee on the reactivation statute, 287.140.8. At the time claimant knew he would need a total knee replacement in the future. The carrier disputed any need for a TKR flowed from the accident. An important issue in the case is that the employer agreed to leave medical open for a year, it adopted “boiler plate” language to adopt 287.140.8 as a term of the settlement, and it did not specifically exclude conditions or treatments which it disputed. The carrier refused to authorize the requested treatment based on expert opinion that any TKR was not work related. The decision was basically a jurisdiction issue and that claimant had to fight his fight with the Commission first and not in court. At its core was a warning that agreements to leave medical open may leave the employer on the hook whether they dispute causation or not.