The Missouri workers compensation system provides certain benefits to Missouri workers who suffer on the job injuries and, under certain circumstances, who develop occupational diseases. Generally, however, workers compensation benefits are not provided to individuals who develop coronary artery disease.
An exception to this rule is set forth in RSMo. 287.067.6, which states that diseases of the heart and lungs can be considered an occupational disease in a paid firefighter if a direct causal relationship can be established between the disease and exposure to smoke, gases, carcinogens, or inadequate oxygen. Presumably, the Missouri Legislature wanted to extend benefits to firefighters for coronary artery disease and other types of heart disease because it is well recognized in the medical and scientific communities that firefighters have a significantly higher risk for coronary artery disease because of the unique and dangerous exposures they face through their job. Firefighters are exposed to dangerous inhalants, like smoke and particulate matter, and unique types of stress, that are dangerous to the heart.
If you are a firefighter suffering from coronary artery disease, contact the attorneys at Ponder Zimmermann LLC. We may able to assist you in obtaining workers compensation benefits.