Missouri's workers' compensation law has changed dramatically since its common law inception. Co-employee liability for injuries caused to fellow employees has shadowed this change. At common law, employers were not liable for injuries to their employees caused by the actions of fellow employees. However, Missouri's adoption of the Workers' Compensation Act in 1926 shifted the burden of liability for work-related injuries from employees to employers and the general public. Although employers now bear the burden of work-related injures to their employees, Missouri has continued to recognize co-employee liability, but only under limited circumstances. For an employee to lose immunity from liability, Missouri courts maintain that the employee must do "something more" than mere negligence. Specifically, the injured employee must show that the co-employee engaged in an affirmative negligent act. In its landmark decision, Badami v. Gaertner, the Missouri Supreme Court provided little guidance for determining what satisfies the something more test, stating simply that courts should decide the issue on a case-by-case basis. Consequently, Badami has created confusion for Missouri courts in applying the something more test, thus leading to inconsistent interpretations. Recent Missouri decisions exhibit the ambiguity inherent in the something more test. For instance, the Missouri Courts of Appeals recently began considering the reasonableness of employees' actions when determining liability under the something more test. However, in an effort to better protect injured employees, the Missouri Supreme Court, in Burns v. Smith, explicitly rejected a reasonable person standard. The Missouri Supreme Court's decision, although sympathetic towards injured employees, serves to undermine the primary purpose of Missouri's workers' compensation law. Part II of this article explores the evolution of co-employee liability in Missouri. Part III analyzes the recent development by the Missouri Courts of Appeals of a reasonableness element within the something more test. Finally, Part IV provides arguments both for and against a reasonable person standard. This article ultimately concludes that the Missouri Supreme Court's rejection of the reasonable person standard in Burns in unreasonable because not only is it unjust toward employees who unintentionally cause injury to fellow employees, but it also conflicts with the underlying purpose of Missouri's workers' compensation law.

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