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Missouri Workers' Compensation Legal Library

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287.490. Final award conclusive unless an appeal is taken - grounds for setting aside - disputes governed by this section, claims arising before August 13, 1980. -

1. The final award of the commission shall be conclusive and binding unless either party to the dispute shall within thirty days from the date of the final award appeal to the circuit court of the county in which the accident occurred, or if the accident occurred outside of this state, then in the county where the contract of employment was made. Such appeal may be taken by filing notice of appeal with the commission, whereupon the commission shall under its certificate return to the court all documents and papers on file in the matter, together with a transcript of the evidence, the findings and award, which shall thereupon become the record of the cause. Upon appeal no additional evidence shall be heard and in the absence of fraud, the findings of fact made by the commission within its powers shall be conclusive and binding. The court, on appeal, shall review only questions of law and may modify, reverse, remand for rehearing, or set aside the award upon any of the following grounds and no other:

(1) That the commission acted without or in excess of its powers;

(2) That the award was procured by fraud;

(3) That the facts found by the commission do not support the award;

(4) That there was not sufficient competent evidence in the record to warrant the making of the award.

2. Appeals from the circuit court shall be allowed in the same manner as in civil actions, except that the original transcript prepared and filed in the circuit court by the commission, together with a transcript of the proceedings had in the circuit court, shall constitute the transcript on appeal in the appellate court. The commission shall make available, to the parties, copies of any transcript prepared and filed by it in the circuit court and upon final determination of the cause in the appellate court the original record of the commission filed as a part of the transcript on appeal shall be certified back to the commission by the appellate court. In all appeals from the commission or circuit court the costs thereof shall be assessed against the losing party as provided by law in civil cases. All appeals to the circuit and appellate courts shall have precedence over all cases except election contests.

3. The provisions of this section shall only apply to disputes based on claims which arose prior to August 13, 1980. All disputes based on claims arising on or after August 13, 1980, shall be governed by the provisions of section 287.495.

(RSMo 1939 § 3732, A.L. 1955 p. 598, A.L. 1980 H.B. 1396)

Prior revision: 1929 § 3342

(1960) Where commission affirmed award of referee that claimant had not sustained accidental injury and claimant appealed to circuit court and procured the judgment he sought, namely remand of the claim with directions to dismiss for want of jurisdiction because of no accident, the employer and insurer were thereby "aggrieved" within meaning of § 512.020 but on the record the appellate court would not review question of whether an accident existed. Harger v. Acme Fast Freight Inc. (Mo.), 336 S.W.2d 109.

(1963) Industrial commission was not required to set out specific findings of facts as to each individual injury and the resultant percent of disability attributed to each, and ultimate findings of commission that claimant sustained 40% permanent partial disability to body as a whole was sufficient and award was properly based thereon. Carenza v. Vulcan-Cincinnati, Inc. (A.), 368 S.W.2d 507.

(1963) Workmen's compensation commission had implied authority to enter order vacating award prior to expiration of thirty-day appeal period. Fisher v. City of Independence (Mo.), 370 S.W.2d 310.

(1963) Commission's finding that janitor's activity amounted to "an unusual or abnormal strain" which constituted an accident because he exerted himself beyond his usual routine in clearing snow from extensive area of employer's sidewalk was a legal conclusion and, therefore, award was subject to review. Flippin v. First National Bank of Joplin (A.), 372 S.W.2d 273.

(1965) Finding of fact held sufficient to sustain order denying compensation. Dixon v. Art Bunker Motors, Inc. (A.), 387 S.W.2d 199.

(1965) In workmen's compensation case the reviewing court cannot substitute its own judgment on the evidence for that of the industrial commission, but is empowered to determine whether the award of the commission is supported by competent and substantial evidence on the whole record. Jacobs v. Eldridge Construction Co. (A.), 393 S.W.2d 33.

(1967) Decisions of the industrial commission which are clearly the interpretation or application of law, rather than a determination of facts, are not binding upon appeals court. Saxton v. St. Louis Stair Company (A.), 410 S.W.2d 369.

(1967) Where there is no material conflict in, or dispute concerning, the facts bearing upon a claimant's status as an employee vel non, the resolution of that issue becomes a question of law and the industrial commission's determination is not binding on the reviewing court. Lawson v. Lawson (A.), 415 S.W.2d 313.

(1969) Decisions of the industrial commission which are clearly the interpretations or applications of the law, as distinguished from a determination of facts, are not binding upon the court and are within the province of review and correction. Weilert v. Fruin-Colnon Corp. (A.), 447 S.W.2d 781.

(1970) Notice of Appeal to Industrial Commission affirmation of a Workman's Compensation Award must be received within 30 days. Holmes v. Navajo Freight Lines, Inc. (A.), 488 S.W.2d 311.

(1971) The findings of a referee are not binding on the commission but a reviewing court must affirm an award by the commission if it is supported by competent and substantial evidence on the whole record thus though the evidence was conflicting and some of claimant's testimony was contradictory, but not to sufficient degree to destroy essential elements of his case, the court affirmed the award. Deatherage v. Churchill Truck Lines, Inc. (A.), 469 S.W.2d 660.

(1975) "Last known address" is that place where mail would be most likely to reach a person, that would be their residence. Failure of commission to send notice of award to residence prevented loss of jurisdiction because of 30 day rule in section 287.490. Cagle v. Regal Plastics Company (A.), 522 S.W.2d 7.

(1980) A circuit court in reviewing the decision of the commission cannot simply agree with a dissenting member of the commission that the evidence was not believable. Johnson v. General Motors Assembly Division G.M.C. (A.), 605 S.W.2d 511.

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