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287.390. Compromise settlements, how made - validity, effect, settlement with minor dependents - employee entitled to one hundred percent of offer, when - maximum medical improvement, rating from second physician, when. -1. Parties to claims hereunder may enter into voluntary agreements in settlement thereof, but no agreement by an employee or his or her dependents to waive his or her rights under this chapter shall be valid, nor shall any agreement of settlement or compromise of any dispute or claim for compensation under this chapter be valid until approved by an administrative law judge or the commission, nor shall an administrative law judge or the commission approve any settlement which is not in accordance with the rights of the parties as given in this chapter. No such agreement shall be valid unless made after seven days from the date of the injury or death. An administrative law judge, or the commission, shall approve a settlement agreement as valid and enforceable as long as the settlement is not the result of undue influence or fraud, the employee fully understands his or her rights and benefits, and voluntarily agrees to accept the terms of the agreement.
2. A compromise settlement approved by an administrative law judge or the commission during the employee's lifetime shall extinguish and bar all claims for compensation for the employee's death if the settlement compromises a dispute on any question or issue other than the extent of disability or the rate of compensation.
3. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 287.190, an employee shall be afforded the option of receiving a compromise settlement as a one-time lump sum payment. A compromise settlement approved by an administrative law judge or the commission shall indicate the manner of payment chosen by the employee.
4. A minor dependent, by parent or conservator, may compromise disputes and may enter into a compromise settlement agreement, and upon approval by an administrative law judge or the commission the settlement agreement shall have the same force and effect as though the minor had been an adult. The payment of compensation by the employer in accordance with the settlement agreement shall discharge the employer from all further obligation.
5. In any claim under this chapter where an offer of settlement is made in writing and filed with the division by the employer, an employee is entitled to one hundred percent of the amount offered, provided such employee is not represented by counsel at the time the offer is tendered. Where such offer of settlement is not accepted and where additional proceedings occur with regard to the employee's claim, the employee is entitled to one hundred percent of the amount initially offered. Legal counsel representing the employee shall receive reasonable fees for services rendered.
6. As used in this chapter, "amount in dispute" means the dollar amount in excess of the dollar amount offered or paid by the employer. An offer of settlement shall not be construed as an admission of liability.
7. (1) In the case of compromise settlements offered after a claimant has reached maximum medical improvement, upon receipt of a permanent disability rating from the employer's physician, a claimant shall have a period of twelve months from such date to acquire a rating from a second physician of his or her own choosing.
(2) Absent a finding of extenuating circumstances by an administrative law judge or the commission, if after twelve months a claimant has not acquired a rating from a second physician, any compromise settlement entered into under this section shall be based upon the initial rating.
(3) A finding of extenuating circumstances by an administrative law judge or the commission shall require more than failure of the claimant to timely obtain a rating from a second physician.
(4) The provisions of this subsection may be waived by the employer with or without stating a cause.
(RSMo 1939 § 3723, A.L. 1959 S.B. 167, A.L. 1965 p. 397, A.L. 1977 S.B. 400, A.L. 1983 S.B. 44 & 45, A.L. 1990 S.B. 751, A.L. 2005 S.B. 1 & 130, A.L. 2017 S.B. 66)
Prior revision: 1929 § 3333
(2011) Section requires Labor and Industrial Relations Commission to approve valid agreements, including a structured settlement agreement on claim for death benefits for employee's widow and children. Roth v. J.J. Brouk & Co. Corp., 356 S.W.3d 786 (Mo.App.E.D.).