I’m writing in regards to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial board’s article on Missouri’s Second Injury Fund.
I would like to start by thanking the board for starting the article by addressing the original intent of the Fund: veterans. The board was spot on in its explanation of benefits being paid to returning WWII veterans who wanted to enter the workplace, while employers were afraid to hire them.
However, the board continues its argument stating the Fund owes money to new claimants who are mostly injured veterans. That is inaccurate.
Since the Fund’s inception, what originally began as a veterans program grew to payout claims for obesity, diabetes and old sports injuries. These illnesses and injuries have nothing to do with the work environment. Therefore, employers should be held not responsible for these types of claims.
Secondly, the board addresses a compromise that was reached two years ago. If the board wanted to provide its readers with news, perhaps it would research the deal that was met last legislative session and was orchestrated by every Missouri business group. The only organization against the compromise was the Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys, the very group that benefits from large payouts to injured workers who have no business suing the state for being obese or having a bad knee from sliding into second base.
If the Post’s board wants to call the legislature’s inaction a “travesty,” perhaps it should examine the real travesty of parasitic attorneys who sue the Fund for non-work related injuries, hurting businesses that provide the jobs in the first place.
Ray McCarty is the president and CEO of the Associated Industries of Missouri in Jefferson City.