Krysl v. Treasurer of Mo., No. ED 108958

CourtCourt of Appeal of Missouri (US)
Writing for the CourtPhilip M. Hess, Judge
Citation615 S.W.3d 843
Docket NumberNo. ED 108958
Decision Date22 December 2020
Parties Bruce KRYSL, Respondent, v. TREASURER OF MISSOURI as Custodian of Second Injury Fund, Appellant.

615 S.W.3d 843

Bruce KRYSL, Respondent,
v.
TREASURER OF MISSOURI as Custodian of Second Injury Fund, Appellant.

No. ED 108958

Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, DIVISION FOUR.

Filed: December 22, 2020


FOR APPELLANT: Madalyn J. Campbell, Assistant Attorney General, PO Box 861, St. Louis, Missouri 63188.

FOR RESPONDENT: Thomas J. Gregory, Mogab & Hughes, Attorneys P.C., 701 Market Street, Suite 1510, St. Louis, Missouri 63101.

Factual and Procedural Background

Philip M. Hess, Judge

The Second Injury Fund (the "Fund") appeals the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission's (the "Commission") decision reinstating the decision of the Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") and awarding

615 S.W.3d 846

Bruce Krysl ("Claimant") permanent partial disability benefits under section 287.220.2 1 upon remand after this Court's decision in Krysl v. Treasurer of Missouri as Custodian of the Second Injury Fund , 591 S.W.3d 13 (Mo. App. E.D. 2019) (" Krysl I "). The parties stipulated Claimant was injured at work on January 1, 2013. Claimant filed an occupational disease claim seeking permanent partial disability benefits from his employer and the Fund on July 5, 2016. Claimant settled his claim with his employer. On May 18, 2018, the ALJ awarded Claimant permanent partial disability benefits from the Fund, finding Claimant had a preexisting permanent partial disability that combined with his primary injury, causing him to be permanently and partially disabled.

The Fund appealed the ALJ's award to the Commission, arguing (1) section 287.220.3 barred Claimant's claim against the Fund because it was filed after January 1, 2014, and (2) Claimant was not entitled to benefits under section 287.220.2 because his preexisting disability had not reached permanency, or maximum medical improvement, before the date of his primary injury. The Commission reversed the decision of the ALJ, finding section 287.220.3 barred Claimant's claim because, although the parties stipulated Claimant's date of injury was January 1, 2013, Claimant did not file his claim until July 5, 2016. The Commission deemed all other issues raised by the Fund "moot" and did not decide whether Claimant's preexisting disability was permanent under section 287.220.2. The Commission attached the ALJ's award to its decision "solely for reference."

Claimant appealed the Commission's decision reversing the ALJ's award to this Court in Krysl I , arguing the Commission misapplied the law by holding section 287.220.3 barred his claim against the Fund. The Fund argued the Commission's decision regarding section 287.220.3 should be upheld. The Fund did not argue, in the event of reversal, this Court should remand the case to the Commission with instructions to consider its argument Claimant was not entitled to benefits under section 287.220.2. This Court reversed the Commission's decision with instructions "to reinstate the ALJ's award of permanent partial disability benefits" as requested by Claimant in his brief. The Fund filed an alternative motion for rehearing or to transfer the appeal to the Missouri Supreme Court with this Court under Rule 84.17 2 ("Rule 84.17 motion"). The Fund did not argue in its Rule 84.17 motion this Court's opinion instructing the Commission "to reinstate the ALJ's award of permanent partial disability benefits" was erroneous. 3 This Court denied the Fund's Rule 84.17 motion.

On November 19, 2019, the Fund applied for transfer with the Missouri Supreme Court under Rule 83.04 ("Rule 83.04 motion"). The Fund did not argue in its Rule 83.04 motion this Court's opinion instructing the Commission "to reinstate the ALJ's award of permanent partial disability benefits" was erroneous. The Missouri

615 S.W.3d 847

Supreme Court denied the Fund's application for transfer on February 4, 2020. On February 13, 2020, the Fund asked this Court to recall and amend its mandate to allow the Commission to consider the Fund's argument that Claimant was not entitled to benefits under section 287.220.2 because his preexisting disability had not reached permanency before the date of his primary injury. This Court denied the Fund's request. The Fund then asked the Commission to consider its argument that Claimant was not entitled to benefits under section 287.220.2 on remand. The Commission denied the Fund's request and reinstated the ALJ's award of permanent partial disability benefits.

The Fund's appeal follows.

Points on Appeal

In Point I, the Fund appeals the Commission's reinstatement of the ALJ's award of permanent partial disability benefits on remand. The Fund argues the Commission misinterpreted this Court's mandate in Krysl I by refusing to consider its argument that Claimant was not entitled to benefits under section 287.220.2 because his preexisting disability had not reached permanency before the date of his primary injury. The Fund asserts our remand of Krysl I was a general remand which would allow the Commission to address the 287.220.2 issue. In the alternative, in Point II, the Fund argues the Commission erred in following this Court's mandate in Krysl I because its reinstatement of the ALJ's award of benefits "stripped the Fund of its right to appeal." In Point III, the Fund argues the Commission erred in reinstating the ALJ's award of benefits because Claimant's preexisting disability was not permanent before the date of his primary injury, as required to be considered in an award of permanent partial disability benefits under section 287.220.2. The Fund's points relied on do not ask us to readdress the issue raised in its motion to recall the mandate, that our opinion and mandate in Krysl I was in error, or that by instructing the Commission to reinstate the ALJ's award this Court deprived the Fund of the Commission's review of its argument under section 287.220.2.

Standard of Review

We may "modify, reverse, remand for rehearing, or set aside" the Commission's award "upon any of the following grounds and no other:" (1) the Commission acted without or in excess of its powers; (2) the Commission's award was procured by fraud; (3) the facts found by the Commission do not support the award; or (4) there was not sufficient competent evidence in the record to warrant making the award. Hampton v. Big Boy Steel Erection , 121 S.W.3d 220, 222 (Mo. banc 2003) (footnote omitted) (citing § 287.495.1). Whether the Commission followed the appellate court's mandate is a question we review de novo. Gerken v. Mo. Dep't of Soc. Servs. , 415 S.W.3d 734, 738 (Mo. App. W.D. 2013).

Discussion

Point I: The Commission Did Not Misinterpret Krysl I ’s Mandate

In its first point, the Fund argues the Commission misinterpreted this Court's mandate in Krysl I by refusing to consider whether Claimant's preexisting disability was permanent under section 287.220.2. The Fund argues Krysl I ’s mandate and opinion allowed the Commission to consider the Fund's argument that Claimant was not entitled to benefits under section 287.220.2 and the Commission erred by not analyzing section 287.220.2 before issuing its award on remand.

615 S.W.3d 848

Upon remand, a lower body must proceed "in accordance with the mandate and the result contemplated in the appellate court's opinion." Motor Control Specialties, Inc. v. Labor and Indus. Relations Comm'n , 323 S.W.3d 843, 853 (Mo. App. W.D. 2010). The lower body "retains its authority over all issues in a case upon remand unless the mandate or the opinion limits its authority by providing specific directives." Id. Krysl I ’s opinion and mandate instructed the Commission "to reinstate the ALJ's award of permanent partial disability benefits." This...

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2 practice notes
  • Krysl v. Treasurer of Mo., ED 109568
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • February 22, 2022
    ...the entry of the reinstated award, another appeal followed, which the Fund initiated this time. In Krysl v. Treasurer of Missouri , 615 S.W.3d 843, 850-51 (Mo. App. E.D. 2020) ( Krysl II ), this court concluded that Krysl I ’s direction requiring the Commission to reinstate Krysl's award wa......
  • Lowe v. Mercy Clinic E. Cmtys., ED 108826
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • November 16, 2021
    ...the rule that an appellate decision is the law of the case in subsequent proceedings in the same cause." Krysl v. Treasurer of Missouri , 615 S.W.3d 843, 850 (Mo. App. E.D. 2020). The doctrine of the law of the case precludes re-litigation of issues on remand and in a subsequent appeal. Sta......
2 cases
  • Lowe v. Mercy Clinic E. Cmtys., ED 108826
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • November 16, 2021
    ...the rule that an appellate decision is the law of the case in subsequent proceedings in the same cause." Krysl v. Treasurer of Missouri , 615 S.W.3d 843, 850 (Mo. App. E.D. 2020). The doctrine of the law of the case precludes re-litigation of issues on remand and in a subsequent appeal. Sta......
  • Krysl v. Treasurer of Mo., ED 109568
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • February 22, 2022
    ...the entry of the reinstated award, another appeal followed, which the Fund initiated this time. In Krysl v. Treasurer of Missouri , 615 S.W.3d 843, 850-51 (Mo. App. E.D. 2020) ( Krysl II ), this court concluded that Krysl I ’s direction requiring the Commission to reinstate Krysl's award wa......

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