Kloppenburg v. Queen Size Shoes, Inc., 67486

Decision Date18 February 1986
Docket NumberNo. 67486,67486
PartiesJoan E. KLOPPENBURG, Claimant-Respondent, v. QUEEN SIZE SHOES, INC., and Insurance Company of North America, Employer and Insurer-Appellants.
CourtMissouri Supreme Court

William W. Francis, Jr., Springfield, for employer and insurer-appellants.

Jerry L. Reynolds, Larry B. Moore, Springfield, for claimant-respondent.


Respondent, Joan E. Kloppenburg, was injured in a fall while she was working as a salesperson in a retail shoe store. She filed for compensation under the Workers' Compensation Law § 287.010, RSMo 1978, et seq. Her claim was heard before James H. Wesley, Jr., Chief Administrative Law Judge, Division of Workers' Compensation, who denied the claim finding that Mrs. Kloppenburg's injury was idiopathic and did not arise "out of" her employment. Respondent appealed to the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission, which reversed the award of the administrative law judge, and entered an award of $9,007.02. The Court of Appeals, Southern District, affirmed the award of the Commission and this Court granted transfer. Mo. Const. art. V, § 10.

We review to determine whether the Commission's award was authorized by law and whether it is supported by competent and substantial evidence upon the whole record: Mo. Const. art. V, § 18. The facts as viewed in a light most favorable to the award, Ricks v. H.K. Porter, Inc., 439 S.W.2d 164 (Mo.1969), are as follows:

Mrs. Kloppenburg is president of Queen Size Shoes, Inc., which she and her husband own. She is a large woman, standing six feet and weighing two hundred, forty pounds. Mrs. Kloppenburg is also an employee of the corporation and works as a sales clerk, waiting on customers. When there were no customers in the store, Mrs. Kloppenburg would customarily position herself in the front of the store in the customer service area. She usually sat in a chair with her legs crossed, waiting for customers to come in. Occasionally the phone would ring and Mrs. Kloppenburg would get up and walk toward the back of the store to answer it. Mrs. Kloppenburg testified that she usually hurried to answer the phone on the first ring so as not to disturb her husband, who was working on the accounts in the back.

On December 30, 1982, at approximately four o'clock in the afternoon, Mrs. Kloppenburg was seated with her legs crossed, as described above. The phone rang and she rose to answer it. After taking one or two steps, she fell and injured her right arm. Mrs. Kloppenburg denied any trip, slip or unusual movement. She stated that her left leg just would not support her. She further testified that she did not have any feeling in the leg and "[i]t was different than I had ever felt before." She denied having any dizzy spells and stated she had no prior health problems, but was in good health at the time. Mrs. Kloppenburg denied that her leg had ever given out on her before for any reason.

Dr. Cunningham, who treated Mrs. Kloppenburg at the emergency room, testified that she told him upon admission that her leg had "gone to sleep." The doctor opined that her leg could not support her because "she had compromised the circulation to her left lower extremity by the position her leg was in."

Section 287.120, RSMo Cum.Supp.1986 provides in pertinent part:

Every employer subject to the provisions of this chapter shall be liable, irrespective of negligence, to furnish compensation under the provisions of this chapter for personal...

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  • Hampton v. Big Boy Steel Erection
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • December 9, 2003
    ...Const. Co., 804 S.W.2d 743 (Mo. banc 1991); Johnson v. City of Duenweg Fire Dept., 735 S.W.2d 364 (Mo. banc 1987); Kloppenburg v. Queen Size Shoes, Inc., 704 S.W.2d 234 (Mo. banc 1986); Stegeman v. St. Francis Xavier Parish, 611 S.W.2d 204 (Mo. banc 1981); Bone v. Daniel Hamm Drayage Co., 4......
  • Martin v. Mid-America Farm Lines, Inc.
    • United States
    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • April 18, 1989
    ...never touched that step; and I just fell out. This testimony is sufficient to support the finding of accident. See Kloppenburg v. Queen Size Shoes, Inc., 704 S.W.2d 234, (Mo. banc 1986), casting substantial doubt on the concept of "idiopathic fall," as discussed in Matthews v. Roadway Expre......
  • Miller v. Wackenhut Services, Inc.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Western District of Missouri
    • October 21, 1992
    ...an employee's injury is compensable only if it arises out of and in the course of employment. Mo.Ann. Stat. § 287.120; Kloppenburg v. Queen Size Shoes, 704 S.W.2d 234, 236 (Mo. banc 1986). An injury arises out of employment if it is a rational consequence of some hazard connected with emplo......
  • Kasl v. Bristol Care, Inc.
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    • Missouri Supreme Court
    • February 9, 1999
    ...Alexander, 851 S.W.2d at 527 n. 3. Common conditions exacerbated by employment requirements are not idiopathic. Kloppenburg v. Queen Size Shoes, Inc., 704 S.W.2d 234, 236 (Mo. banc 1986). See also Abel, 924 S.W.2d at 504; Alexander, 851 S.W.2d at 528; Morgan v. Duncan, 361 Mo. 683, 236 S.W.......
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