Saturday, October 7, 2017

Mantia v. Missouri Department of Transportation

            A highway department employee who responded to the scene of approximately 1000 catastrophic automobile accidents needed to compare her work-related stress to that of similarly situated employees to receive workers’ chompensation benefits for her mental injury, according to the Supreme Court of Missouri.  The Court overruled the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, which found that the 2005 amendments to Missouri Revised Statutes section 287.120.8 required strict construction. This abrogated case law required claimants with mental injury claims to present evidence proving that the amount of stress they experienced was “extraordinary and unusual” compared to other similarly situated employees.  The Supreme Court of Missouri reversed and held that the term “objective” in the statute meant “whether the same or similar actual work events would cause a reasonable highway worker extraordinary and unusual stress.”[1]

Friday, October 6, 2017

State v. Johnson

Predatory sexual offenders, as defined in Missouri Revised Statutes section 558.018.5(3), are subject to a minimum sentence of life imprisonment with a chance of parole.[1] Angelo Johnson (“Defendant”) was convicted of twelve counts of sexually-related crimes against juveniles but tried to argue that he could not be a predatory sexual offender because that distinction only applied to prior acts.[2] The Supreme Court of Missouri disagreed, holding that section 558.018.5(3) applied to charged acts, was not facially unconstitutional, and the circuit court’s error from violating section 558.021.2 did not result in manifest injustice in State v. Johnson.[3]