Mo. Legislature Passes Workers’ Comp Reforms

March 18, 2005

Workers’ compensation system reform legislation (SB 1) passed late Wednesday by the Missouri legislature will have a positive affect on the marketplace, according to the American Insurance Association (AIA).

“The Missouri workers’ compensation system will be improved by enactment of SB 1,” said Steve Schneider, AIA vice president, Midwest Region. “While we believe there are additional measures, such as the implementation of more objective impairment guidelines and medical reforms, that could improve this legislation, we support it and welcome the changes.”

SB 1 addresses more than 20 aspects of Missouri’s workers’ comp law. Reforms include modifying the definitions of “accident” and “injury,” reducing benefits when an injury occurs due to the failure of an employee to use employer provided safety devices, raising the criminal penalties for fraud, allowing for voluntary claims settlements and requiring employers to file a report with the state within 30 days of an injury or accident.

SB 1 was passed by a House-Senate conference committee March 16 and sent to Gov. Matt Blunt (R), who has indicted support for the legislation and is expected to sign the bill.

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