45-Year Employee Did Not Face Similar Risk in Non-Employment Life
A Missouri appellate court affirmed a decision by the state’s Labor and Industrial Relations Commission that awarded workers’ compensation benefits to a hospital employee who sustained injuries in a fall near an exit of the hospital’s employee parking garage [McDowell v. St. Luke’s Hosp., 2019 Mo. App. LEXIS 538 (Apr. 16, 2019)]. Construing Missouri’s relatively restrictive “arising out of and in the course of employment” standard, which denies benefits if the hazard or risk is one to which the worker would have been “equally exposed outside of and unrelated to the employment in normal nonemployment life” [Mo. Rev. Stat. § 287.020.3], and distinguishing an earlier decision by the state’s Supreme Court, the appellate court agreed with the Commission that the employee’s fall was occasioned by her need to pull and maneuver a two-wheeled cart containing work-related supplies through a congested entryway. She faced no such hazard in her normal, nonemployment life.