In response to the recent dramatic
changes in the Missouri Workers’ Compensation Law involving ten designated
occupational diseases caused by exposure to toxic chemicals, Evans & Dixon
has created a team of attorneys who have the necessary skills to respond to
these claims and to resolve them to our clients’ best advantage. Whether
resolution is through trial or settlement, Evans & Dixon can help!
At the current State Average Weekly Wage,
nine of the ten diseases create exposure of $173,576.00 and the tenth, mesothelioma,
almost three times that, $551,971.68. Also, these “enhanced” benefits are to be
paid in addition to the standard
benefits for medical treatment and disability.
Since these changes became effective on
January 1, 2014, a substantial number of these claims have been filed, some
even where the disease was diagnosed before
the new amendments became law, and which would likely have never been filed but
for the enhanced benefits.
Some, but only some, of the issues which
these claims create are: the need for the employer to accept or reject
mesothelioma liability, coverage, rates of compensation, the “last exposure
rule”, the coordination of old and new law benefits, subrogation, complex
issues of causation, the interaction between possible or pending civil actions
in addition to the workers’ compensation proceedings, and even issues over constitutionality.
The Evans & Dixon Toxic Ten Team
includes James Kennedy, Ronald Hack and David Ware. Mr. Kennedy has 47 years of
extensive experience handling workers’ compensation claims and is a frequent
author on workers’ compensation topics. Mr. Ware has 34 years of handling
occupational disease and workers’ compensation claims in a variety of
industries. Mr. Hack is an experienced toxic tort and environmental litigator
with 35 years of experience.
For more information on the “Toxic Ten” or
if you have questions regarding a claim, please contact attorneys James Kennedy,
David Ware or Ronald Hack.