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Mesothelioma case goes to Missouri Supreme Court

Posted On: Dec. 20, 2017 2:24 PM CST

Mesothelioma case goes to Missouri Supreme Court

In the latest turn in a case that was appealed by both the widow of a lifetime tile installer who died of complications related to asbestos exposure and the employer and insurer who say a new law was misapplied to the case’s arguments, the Court of Appeals of Missouri in Kansas City is sending the issue to the state’s Supreme Court.

According to a decision filed Tuesday, two points of contention surround Accident Fund Insurance Co.; E.J. Cody Co. Inc. v. Robert Casey, employee/Dolores Murphy: The insurer stated that Mr. Casey, who was last exposed to toxic asbestos in 1990, was not insured under a 2014 law governing workers compensation cases with asbestos exposure and mesothelioma; and Ms. Murphy, his wife, said he was covered, as he filed a claim after the law went into effect.

Mr. Casey, who worked with asbestos as a tile installer from 1984 to 1990, was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2014 and filed for workers compensation in 2015. He died while the claim was pending. His wife subsequently filed an amended claim listing herself and his eight children as dependents, according to court documents.

An administrative law judge with the Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation found the company’s insurer liable for the death claim, yet a subsequent Labor and Industrial Relations Commission removed the children as dependents.

The Missouri Court of Appeals transferred the case to the Missouri Supreme Court after it “determined on preliminary review that the constitutional challenge to (state law) as applied was properly preserved for appellate review and is real and substantial.”