JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri — A bill filed in the Missouri Senate that would change the state’s workers’ compensation system now moves one step closer to the legislative finish line. Senate Bill 572, sponsored by the Senate Majority Floor Leader, addresses protections for co-employees who are at risk of personal lawsuits for their role in honest accidents at work, among other provisions.
The state’s workers’ compensation law provides certain benefits to workers who have been injured on the job or been exposed to occupational disease as a result of their job. The act would make occupational diseases exclusively covered under Missouri’s workers’ compensation law, including toxic exposure that causes health-related illness or death to workers.
Also, SB 572 would release co-employees from all liability for workplace injuries and death due to accidents or occupational disease that result from the worker’s employment. However, if the employee purposefully causes or increases the risk of workplace injury, he or she would not escape liability.
The bill states that all administrative remedies must be exhausted before civil actions involving injury or death filed by the employee can move forward. In addition, the act would raise the death benefit for employees from $5,000 to $10,000.
Source: MO Senate