Court of Appeals of Missouri, Eastern District, Second Division
from the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission Injury No.
P. Page, Presiding Judge.
Treasurer of the State of Missouri as Custodian of the Second
Injury Fund ("Fund") appeals a final award of the
Labor and Industrial Relations Commission
("Commission") awarding Winifred Thompson
("Claimant") workers' compensation benefits. We
sustained a back injury on July 27, 2006, while walking in
the breakroom of her employer, Medi-Plex
("Employer"). Claimant was alone in the breakroom
at the time of the accident. Claimant's coworkers,
Deborah Vinson and Leanna Robinson, responded to
Claimant's pleas for help shortly after the incident.
Officer Jeremy Brown later arrived at the scene and
eventually prepared his police report. Claimant subsequently
filed a claim for workers' compensation.
to this appeal the parties thoroughly litigated whether
Claimant slipped and fell on a wet substance or whether she
"just fell." This determination is dispositive as
to whether the injury is compensable. None of the three
witnesses testified that they observed any foreign substance
on the floor, nor was there any mention of a foreign
substance in Claimant's medical records. Additionally,
Claimant did not mention any substance on the floor when
directly asked by an insurance claims adjustor working for
Employer, Ms. Cashin, shortly after the incident and while
Claimant was hospitalized. The sole evidence of a foreign
substance on the floor was Claimant's testimony during
her deposition in March 2007 and before the Administrative
Law Judge ("ALJ") during a July 2015 hearing.
and Claimant settled prior to the second day of the hearing
before the ALJ. Therefore, Claimant proceeded only against
the Fund. The ALJ denied the claim, finding Claimant failed
to establish there was a foreign substance on the floor and,
as a result, she did not sustain a compensable injury that
arose out of, and in the course of, her employment. The
Commission reversed the ALJ's decision, finding
Claimant's fall compensable because it did arise out of,
and in the course of, her employment. Specifically, the
Commission found Claimant's testimony credible that she
slipped on a wet substance on the floor.
sole point on appeal, the Fund argues the Commission erred in
finding Claimant's fall compensable because such a
finding is not supported by substantial and competent
evidence. For the reasons set forth below, we must disagree
and affirm the Commission's decision.
V, Section 18 of the Missouri Constitution provides for
judicial review of the Commission's decision to determine
whether it is "supported by competent and substantial
evidence upon the whole record." MO. CONST, art. V,
§ 18; see also Section 287.495. Upon review, this
Court may modify, reverse, remand for rehearing, or set aside
the decision of the Commission upon the following grounds and
(1) when the Commission has acted without or in excess of its