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The full case caption appears at the end of this opinion. Opinion Summary: Employer Commercial Transport, Inc. and Great West Casualty Company appeal from the decision of the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission (“Commission”) affirming the Administrative Law Judge’s Temporary or Partial Award issued to employee Alvin Blades (“Blades”). The Commission determined that the accident and subsequent injury suffered by Blades while participating in an arbitration proceeding with his employer was compensable under the Missouri Workers’ Compensation Act (“Act”). AFFIRMED. Division Two Holds: Respondent’s participation in the arbitration proceeding with his employer mutually benefited himself and his employer, and thus Respondent’s accident and subsequent injury arose out of and in the course of his employment as required by the Act. Opinion Author: Sherri B. Sullivan, Judge Opinion Vote: AFFIRMED. Crane, P.J., and Dowd, J., concur. Opinion: Employer Commercial Transport, Inc. and Great West Casualty Company (“Appellants”) appeal from the decision of the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission (“Commission”) affirming the Administrative Law Judge’s (“ALJ”) Temporary or Partial Award issued to employee Alvin Blades (“Blades”). The Commission determined that the accident and subsequent injury suffered by Blades while participating in an arbitration proceeding with his employer was compensable under the Missouri Workers’ Compensation Act (“Act”). Appellants assert that the accident did not “arise out of and in the course of his employment” as required by the Act. We affirm. Commercial Transport, Inc. (“Commercial”) employs Blades as a truck driver. On January 15, 1997, Blades testified at an arbitration proceeding that was held at the Teamsters’ Union Hall in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. The proceeding stemmed from a grievance filed on behalf of all of Commercial’s drivers by one of Blades’ co-workers, Randy Whitworth (“Whitworth”). The grievance concerned whether the drivers for Commercial should receive additional compensation for dropping off and hooking up trailers (“dropping and hooking”). The collective bargaining agreement between the Teamsters Union (“Union”) and Commercial provided for the arbitration of such grievances. Union and Commercial representatives selected an arbitrator by a process of elimination. The Union and Commercial split the cost of the arbitrator. Whitworth and Robert Hutchings (“Hutchings”), the business representative for the local Union, asked Blades to testify at the proceeding because he was familiar with the “dropping and hooking” compensation policy. Blades received no pay for his appearance and testimony. Although Blades did not work the day of the proceeding, he was scheduled to work that day. Robert White (“White”), president of Commercial, also testified at the proceeding. As Blades was entering the union hall prior to his testimony, he slipped on an icy sidewalk causing him to fall and injure his left shoulder. After completing his testimony, Blades went to the hospital where he was diagnosed as having a torn rotator cuff. Blades filed a timely claim for compensation with the Division of Workers’ Compensation. After a workers’ compensation hearing, the ALJ issued a Temporary or Partial Award to Blades on March 27, 1998. The Commission affirmed this decision on October 30, 1998. Appellants filed a timely notice of appeal on November 30, 1998. Section 287.495 [FOOTNOTE 1] provides the standard of review for the appellate court in workers’ compensation cases. It provides in relevant part: “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.” Further, where the facts are not in dispute, the question of whether an accident arose out of and in the course of his employment is a matter of law, and this Court is not bound by the decision of the Commission. Cherry v. Powdered Coatings, 897 S.W.2d 664, 666 (Mo.App. E.D. 1995). Because there are no material facts in dispute here, we must determine whether the Commission was correct in its application of the law. The Commission’s decision must be affirmed if, after a review of the entire record in the light most favorable to the finding, we believe the award is supported by competent and substantial evidence. Cruzan v. City of Paris, 922 S.W.2d 473, 475 (Mo.App. E.D. 1996). In making this determination, this Court must disregard evidence that might support a finding different from that found by the Commission. Id. Questions of fact are for the Commission, and we may not substitute our judgment on evidence for that of the Commission. Id. There is no appellate jurisdiction in workers’ compensation cases except as expressly provided by statute. Korte v. Fry-Wagner Moving & Storage Co., 922 S.W.2d 395, 397 (Mo.App. E.D. 1996). Section 287.495 authorizes an appeal from the “final award of the commission” to the appellate court. Generally, no appeal lies from a temporary or partial award made pursuant to section 287.510. Owens v. Norb Hackmann, Inc., 979 S.W.2d 941, 942 (Mo.App. E.D. 1998). However, appellate review of a temporary or partial award on the issue of liability is permissible. Id. This case falls within this exception. Regarding the issue of liability, Appellants contend that the Commission erred by affirming the ALJ’s Temporary or Partial Award issued to Blades. Appellants argue that Blades did not suffer a compensable injury under the Act because the accident did not “arise out of and in the course of his employment” as required by section 287.120. The Act “is to be broadly and liberally construed and is intended to extend its benefits to the largest possible class.” Cherry, 897 S.W.2d at 667. Consequently, “any doubt as to compensability is to be resolved in favor of the injured employee.” Id. Whether an accident arises out of and in the course of employment is determined on a case by case basis. Wamhoff v. Wagner Electric Corp., 190 S.W.2d 915, 917 (Mo. banc 1945). Significant is whether, under the facts of the specific case, “the injury arose from something which had become an incident to the employment.” Id. The Mutual Benefit Doctrine (“Doctrine”) has developed to address certain factual situations. As initially set forth, the Doctrine reads: “An injury suffered by an employee while performing an act for the mutual benefit of the employer and the employee is usually compensable, for when some advantage[, however slight,] to the employer results from the employee’s conduct, his act cannot be regarded as purely personal and wholly unrelated to the employment. Accordingly, an injury resulting from such an act arises out of and in the course of the employment….” Id. at 919. For the Doctrine to apply, the employee must suffer an injury while engaged in activity for the mutual benefit, however slight, of the employer and the employee. Cruzan, 922 S.W.2d at 476. Here, Blades’ act of participation in the arbitration proceeding benefited Commercial and himself. The proceeding resolved the labor dispute by determining the compensation that truck drivers would receive from Commercial for dropping and hooking. This determination reduced the friction between labor and management. Additionally, the proceeding prevented potential labor stoppages and strikes. Without Blades’ act of participation, the arbitration proceeding could not have conferred this benefit, however slight, to Commercial. Further, Blades’ participation in the arbitration proceeding was incident to his employment. The collective bargaining agreement between the Union and Commercial provided for the arbitration of grievances. Had there been no labor dispute at Commercial, there would have been no arbitration proceeding and no purpose for Blades’ testimony. Blades attended the arbitration proceeding because he was an employee of Commercial with knowledge of the dispute. The dispute was employment-related, and Blades’ presence at the union hall was not for purely personal reasons. Thus, the Doctrine applies to Blades’ participation in the arbitration proceeding with Commercial, and accordingly, his accident and subsequent injury resulting from his participation arose out of and in the course of employment. This conclusion is consistent with cases in other jurisdictions that hold employee accidents and subsequent injuries compensable under workers’ compensation when the employee’s activities were incidental to collective bargaining agreements. See, e.g., Mikkelsen v. N.L. Industries, 370 A.2d 5 (N.J. 1977) (holding that employee’s attendance at a union meeting to ratify a collective bargaining contract was of mutual benefit to both employee and employer, and thus injuries employee sustained in the parking lot after the meeting arose out of and in the course of employment); D’Alessio v. State, 509 A.2d 986 (R.I. 1986) (holding that employee’s activity as a union secretary at a union meeting to facilitate ongoing negotiations with employer was of mutual benefit to both employee and employer, and thus injuries employee sustained during the meeting arose out of and in the course of employment); New England Telephone Co. v. Ames, 474 A.2d 571 (N.H. 1984) (holding that employee’s activity as a union bargaining representative at collective bargaining agreement negotiations with employer was of mutual benefit to both employee and employer, and thus injuries employee sustained during the negotiations arose out of and in the course of employment). We hold that Respondent’s participation in the arbitration proceeding with his employer mutually benefited himself and his employer, and thus Respondent’s accident and subsequent injury arose out of and in the course of his employment as required by the Act. The Commission was correct in its application of the law. The decision of the Commission is affirmed. This slip opinion is subject to revision and may not reflect the final opinion adopted by the Court. :::FOOTNOTES::: FN1 All statutory references are to RSMo 1994, unless otherwise indicated.
Blades v. Commercial Transport, Inc. Missouri Court of Appeals Eastern District Alvin Blades, Respondent, v. Commercial Transport, Inc., and Great West Casualty Company, Appellants. No. ED75377 Appeal from: Labor and Industrial Relations, Hon. Jack H. Knowlan, Jr. Filed: 11/16/99 Before: SULLIVAN, Judge; CRANE, P.J., and DOWD, J., concur. Counsel for Appellant: William M. Richerson, Jr. Counsel for Respondent: Lawrence H. Rost
 
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