Got Insurance? Maybe Not: Missouri Overhead Power Line Safety Act


The general rule in Missouri is that the employer is immune to civil liability or third-party actions arising out of injuries to one of its employees. The employee’s sole remedy for those injuries fall exclusively under the Workers’ Compensation Statute.

This no longer is the rule. The employer can now find itself brought in as a third-party defendant by the provider of an electrical utility if for any reason the employee was injured by an “overhead power line”.  The statute specifically states and, case law interpreting it as well, makes the company/manufacture employer liable to the utility and, is no longer immune for these type of actions. Section 2 of the Workers’ Compensation Policy would therefore be called upon to provide coverage, but in most instances, the limits of liability our $100,000.00.

In instances where an employee is electrocuted, sustains very serious injuries or death, there’s little question but that the employee/widow’s action against an electrical utility for death or serious injury because of electrocution would in most instances exceed $100,000.00.  Therefore, it is imperative that the insurance agent be aware that this exposure exist for the company/manufacturer if there is anyway employees can come into contact with “overhead power lines” and that the limits of liability to cover this exposure be sufficient to protect the company/manufacture in the event it is found liable to the third-party in to and action by the injured employee against the “overhead power line electrical utility”.


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