The onset of the Coronavirus (“COVID-19”) has created in recent weeks, and will continue to create in the weeks and months to come, a great deal of alarm and concern in the Missouri workers’ compensation community, Many of these concerns involve the issue of compensability.
However, in addressing the legal issues which COVID-19 raises, a caveat is in order as these challenges are almost unprecedented. Analyzing the current workers’ compensation law in this context of COVID-19, cannot always produce clear-cut answers. Nonetheless, the existing law must control, and does allow for a great deal of legal guidance.
As we know, there are two general grounds for compensability under Missouri law. The first, the occurrence of an accident, the second is the occurrence of, that is the contracting of, an “occupational disease,” whether by repeated traumatic exposure or a prolonged exposure to toxic chemicals or biological agents.
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