The Missouri Supreme Court is trying to determine if a workman’s compensation law is valid or unconstitutional based on its technical and unclear language.
The state legislature changed the rules in 2014 for compensation when a second workplace injury occurs. Starting that year, new claims for benefits through the state’s second injury fund were no longer allowed for people with permanent partial disabilities, only those with permanent total disabilities.
Douglas Cosby, a carpenter from southeastern Missouri who fell off a ladder in early January 2014 challenged the change, arguing that conflicting language in the law must be harmonized to cover him or it was so poorly written that it was unconstitutional. Before the Supreme Court Wednesday, attorney Marshall Edelman said the Labor and Industrial Relations Board incorrectly determined that Cosby couldn’t file for benefits that he contends are still afforded to Cosby.