The lawsuit was filed on February 7, 2011, in U.S. District Court in Jefferson City, after the Missouri Legislature failed to take any action to remedy the situation. The suit names Brian May, the director of the Missouri Division of Workers' Compensation, and State Treasurer Clint Zweifel, whose office administers the Fund. It seeks an injunction that would prevent the state from enforcing the 3% cap on surcharges, or from decreasing or stopping benefit payments.
The case is currently assigned to U.S. District Judge Nannette Laughrey. State Rep. Barney Fisher, R-Richards, said that while he'll be disappointed if a federal judge tries to stick her nose in Missouri statutes, nevertheless, the lawsuit might encourage the Legislature to act.
The financial troubles of the SIF create a lot of uncertainty and make it difficult and sometimes impossible for injured Missouri workers to get the benefits they deserve. Hopefully this lawsuit will, either through judicial decree or increased pressure on the Legislature, bring about a resolution of these problems, and restore some order to this broken system.
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