Complete Loss of a Use of Part of Body on Workers Compensation Law’s Schedule of Losses Can Be Stipulated (Agreed) To by Employer and Insurer’s Attorney

In the case of Romero v. Nelson Flooring, the injured worker who lost use of his left eye when a nail gun left him with ZERO visual acuity/ability to see. The Missouri Labor & Industrial Relations Commission held on appeal from a Missouri administrative workers’ compensation judge that the lack of specific evidence that the worker who lost all his vision in that eye did still entitle to an additional 10% tacked on to his permanent disability weeks for the eye even though there was no specific evidence in the record proving 100% loss of use of the eye but only an admission of loss of use from the defense attorney.

The employer and insurer’s defense attorney appealed that denial of the additional 10% disability (14 additional weeks of permanent disability since the eye is worth a total of 140 weeks) to the Missouri Court of Appeals on the grounds that there was insufficient evidence in the trial record at the hearing showing total loss of use of the eye.

The Labor Commission granted the injured worker an additional 10% disability over 100% of the left eye. The Commission decided in late March 2015 that even though no specific medical evidence of such 100% sight loss was ever put in the trial record at hearing by either the employee’s attorney or the insurance defense attorney, the fact that the defense attorney for Employer & Insurer agreed and stipulated to the total 100% loss of sight/visual acuity in the left eye entitled the injured employee who filed the claim to that additional 10%. This amounted to 110% of the maximum number of weeks Missouri Workers Compensation Law allows for a total loss of eyesight in one eye.

The Labor Commission held that the defense attorney’s somewhat vague agreement during the hearing where he conceded that the injured worker had lost complete use of the left eye was enough to support a finding of complete loss of use of the eye and thus entitled him to an additional 10% permanent partial disability (14 disability weeks) based on the concession and stipulation of the defense attorney, even without specific medical evidence of such total loss of visual acuity eyesight.

The injured worker had a good lawyer representing him and was able to use the admissions by the defense attorney of the 100% loss of use of the eye to justify and support the judge’s awarding the additional 10% add-on to the worker’s disability weeks. That is a good example of how a good lawyer can do for a client.

St. Louis Workers Compensation Center can defend and demand your rights to workmens compensation benefits. They can fight to legally enforce these rights. They can prevent the company from cancelling or underpaying your benefits. Please call us for advice and assistance on any work-related injury suffered on the job in St. Louis County, the City of St. Louis, St. Charles County, Jefferson County, Lincoln County, Warren County, Franklin County, or any other counties in eastern Missouri within 100 miles of the greater St. Louis metropolitan area. Our consultations are completely free of charge. Tom Hyatt will talk to you about your case right away. He will fight as hard he can to enforce all of your rights to Missouri workers compensation benefits. Our attorney’s fee would be a modest percentage of the Missouri workers’ comp disability benefits we get for you. Please call now for a free consultation. (See Contact Us).

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