As this Note argues, the exclusive cause standard frustrated the statute’s purpose and effectively sanctioned employer discrimination and retaliation against employees who filed workers’ compensation claims. In Templemire v. W&M Welding, Inc., the Supreme Court of Missouri corrected this mistake by adopting the “contributing factor” causation standard in lieu of the exclusive cause standard.10 In Part II, this Note analyzes the facts and holding of Templemire v. W&M Welding, Inc. Next, in Part III, this Note explores the legal background of Missouri’s workers’ compensation laws, the historical context and policy considerations behind the development of Section 287.780, and the judicial interpretations of Section 287.780’s causation element. Part IV examines the court’s rationale in Templemire. Lastly, Part V assesses the validity of employer concerns about the implications that may arise from the standard’s adoption; provides guidance for employers grappling with how to respond proactively; and considers the pending legislation that, if passed, would overrule Templemire. This Note concludes by discussing what Missouri’s adoption of the contributing factor standard represents for Missouri employment discrimination law going forward.
Suzanne L. Specker,
Causation Confusion: Missouri’s Adoption of a Contributing Factor Standard for Workers’ Compensation Retaliation Claims,
80 Mo. L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.missouri.edu/mlr/vol80/iss2/12