Missouri Senate moves to change workers compensation laws

The Missouri Senate took steps to reform workers compensation laws on Tuesday, following a four-hour filibuster that nearly derailed the proceedings, the Southeast Missourian reports. The state senate gave first-round approval for the bill, which must still go through another round of debate and voting, that seeks to prevent employees from suing coworkers for hazards encountered on the job.

Additionally, employers will be prevented from retaining workers compensation awards from employees that had successfully litigated their cases through a third party. The bill drew specific attention in cases where workers are exposed to toxins and develop illnesses over a long period of time. Such cases often prove difficult for employers and case workers because of the uncertainty regarding the exact nature and time of exposure.

Supporters of the bill say that has made it tough for employees to obtain deserved compensation.

"If an employer can just subrogate from any third party actions out there, then they have no skin in the game at all to make any kind of changes," state Senator James Cromwell, who originally opposed the bill, told the paper. 

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