Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Pestka v. State

 Opinion handed down July 26, 2016

Timothy S. Pestka and Rudy M. Chavez (“Appellants”) appealed the Cole County Circuit Court’s decision denying their request to enjoin the enforcement of HB 150, which the Missouri General Assembly passed during the veto session in September 2015.[1]  Appellants contend that the senate lacked authority to override the governor’s veto during the session because the general assembly can only take up a bill in the September veto session if the governor returned the bill on or after the fifth day before the end of the regular legislative session.[2]  

Parr v. Breeden

Opinion handed down June 7, 2016

While driving a tractor-trailer during the course of his employment, Kevin Parr was killed after his truck was involved in a single vehicle accident.[1]  After the accident, Mr. Parr’s children and father brought a wrongful death action against three of Mr. Parr’s supervisors.[2]  The plaintiffs alleged that the supervisors breached personal duties they owed to the decedent that were separate and distinct from the employer’s nondelegable duty to provide a safe workplace for all employees.[3]  The circuit court found that the supervisors did not owe a duty beyond the nondelegable duties they owed Mr. Parr as his employer.[4]  The issues on appeal were: (1) whether the existence of a duty imposed by a federal statute creates a duty that is separate and distinct from an employer’s nondelegable duties, and (b) whether an admission of duty by a defendant is binding on a court where no duty would otherwise exist.[5]

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Stahl v. Hank’s Cheesecakes, LLC

Opinion handed down May 10, 2016

            Hank’s Cheesecakes appeals from the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission’s (“Commission”) decision granting unemployment benefits to its terminated employee, Robin Stahl.[1]  Stahl was terminated from her position following an incident in which she slapped the buttocks of a co-worker for making an insensitive comment in front of her and another co-worker. [2]  The Commission found that this conduct did not rise to the level of misconduct that disqualified her from receiving unemployment benefits. [3] On appeal, and as a matter of first impression as to whether striking an employee automatically constitutes misconduct, the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Eastern District affirmed.[4]

Nevils v. Group Health Plan, Inc.

Opinion handed down May 3, 2016
In Nevils v. Group Health Plan, Inc., the Supreme Court of Missouri held for the second time in two years that § 8902(m)(1) of the Federal Employee Health Benefits Act (“FEHBA”) does “not preempt Missouri law prohibiting subrogation of personal injury claims.”[1]  After the court found no preemption in 2014, the Office of Personnel Management (“OPM”) promulgated a regulation providing that FEHBA does preempt state subrogation law, and the Supreme Court of the United States vacated Nevils and remanded the case to the Supreme Court of Missouri for reconsideration in light of the new regulation.[2]  On remand, the court gave minimal deference to the OPM’s guidance, holding that the new regulation did not alter its original conclusion that FEHBA does not preempt Missouri law prohibiting subrogation of personal injury claims.[3]