House Considers Two Amendments to Workers Compensation Bill
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House Considers Two Amendments to Workers Compensation Bill

Date: February 8, 2011
By: Andrew Weil
State Capitol Bureau

Missouri's House votes to continue coverage for mesothelioma sufferers with workers' compensation.
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Wrap: The House voted against an amendment that would've excluded mesothelioma from the state-wide program.

St. Louis Democratic Representative Jake Hummel supported the amendment.

He says it would have allowed Missourians to sue their former employers and get compensation.

Actuality:  HUMMEL2.WAV
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Description: "That is an issue that should not be left up to workman's comp. No one should have to lose their life and only be worth $800 a month."

As it stands now mesothelioma sufferers can get benefits under workers' comp but no more from their employer.

They can still sue third parties like contractors for more.

The bill needs one more vote in the House before going on to the Senate.

State Capitol, I'm Andrew Weil.

Mesothelioma sufferers would be barred from filing some lawsuits under an approved House plan.
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Wrap: The plan came as a defeat for Saint Louis Democratic Representative Jake Hummel who shared the story of his grandfather who died from the disease.

He says his grandfather only received workers' comp for four months before his death, but should've gotten more.

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Description: "Mr. Speaker, his life and the suffering that he went through is worth more than four months pay in workman's comp."

The amendment's failure means employers exposure to lawsuits are limited.

State Capitol, I'm Andrew Weil. 

Missouri's House approves a plan to limit lawsuits from mesothelioma sufferers.
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Wrap: An amendment excluding the disease mesothelioma from coverage in the statewide program failed to gain enough votes in the House.

Supporters wanted those with mesothelioma to be left out of the program so they could sue their employers for compensation.

The Western Missouri Republican Representative Barney Fisher is the sponsor of the original bill.

He says the amendment was unnecessary because Missourians can sue other places besides their employer.

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Description: "Neither the bill nor the amendment that was added restrict any kind of third party action."

Fisher says that an employer's exposure has been limited for 80 years under workers' compensation and it should stay that way.

State Capitol, I'm Andrew Weil.

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