Court of Appeals of Missouri, Southern District, Second Division
FROM THE LABOR AND INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS COMMISSION
W. SHEFFIELD, J.
Loxcreen Company ("Employer") appeals the final
award granting permanent partial disability benefits and
future medical expenses to its former employee, Ulysses
Robinson, Jr. ("Claimant"), by the Labor and
Industrial Relations Commission ("the Commission"),
which stemmed from a 2007 work accident. The Second Injury
Fund ("the Fund") appeals Claimant's award of
permanent total disability benefits. Employer raises four
points on appeal, and the Fund raises one. Finding no merit
in either Employer's or the Fund's points, we affirm
the award of the Commission.
of the Commission's decision are governed by the Missouri
Constitution and § 287.495. "On appeal, this Court
reviews the Commission's decision to determine if it is
'supported by competent and substantial evidence upon the
whole record.'" Johme v. St. John's Mercy
Healthcare, 366 S.W.3d 504, 509 (Mo. banc 2012) (quoting
Mo. Const. Art. V, § 18); see also Hampton v.
Big Boy Steel Erection, 121 S.W.3d 220, 222-23 (Mo.
banc 2003). On appeal, the Court:
may modify, reverse, remand for rehearing, or set aside the
award upon any of the following grounds and no other:
(1) [t]hat the [C]ommission acted without or in excess of its
(2) [t]hat the award was procured by fraud;
(3) [t]hat the facts found by the [C]ommission do not support
the award; [or]
(4) [t]hat there was not sufficient competent evidence in the
record to warrant the making of the award.
§ 287.495.1. The workers' compensation laws are to
be strictly construed. § 287.800.1. In reviewing a
decision of the Commission, this Court reviews the
"findings of the Commission and not those of the
[Administrative Law Judge]" ("ALJ").
Lawrence v. Anheuser Busch Cos. Inc., 310 S.W.3d
248, 250 (Mo. App. E.D. 2010).
of Employer's four points, Employer asks this Court to
reverse the Commission's award based on a lack of
"competent and substantial evidence," thereby
invoking the standard set forth in §
287.495.1(4). "A section 287.495.1(4) challenge
succeeds only in the demonstrated absence of
sufficient competent substantial evidence; evidence
contrary to the award of the Commission, regardless
of quantity or quality, is 'irrelevant.'"
Nichols v. Belleview R-III School Dist., 528 S.W.3d
918, 922 (Mo. App. S.D. 2017) (quoting Hornbeck v.
Spectra Painting, Inc., 370 S.W.3d 624, 629 (Mo. banc
2012)). "Sufficient competent evidence is a minimum
threshold" and can be satisfied by the testimony of one
witness, even if there is contradictory testimony from other
witnesses. Nichols, 528 S.W.3d at 922. Essentially,
Employer and the Fund argue that the Commission erred by not
adopting their view of the conflicting evidence. While we
examine the whole record, we must still defer to the
Commission's determinations in resolving conflicting
medical testimony given by expert witnesses. Armstrong v.
Tetra Pak, Inc., 391 S.W.3d 466, 470-71 (Mo. App. S.D.
the Commission's decision to grant compensation is not
contrary to the overwhelming weight of the evidence and is
November 2007, Claimant was injured in a work accident
involving a metal dolly stacked with over 2, 000 pounds of
weight. Claimant was on an incline coming out of a truck, and
lost control of the dolly. Claimant was trapped between a
and the dolly, so he jumped over the dolly to keep it from
falling on him. He tripped and fell "face forward,"
hit his head on the concrete, and passed out. Claimant's
hands were under his body when he fell, and he was not able
to brace his fall at all. Both of ...