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Susan M. Kelly

Susan M. Kelly


MO – St. Louis
T: 314.396.8604 | F: 314.725.3006


Susan concentrates her practice in the area of workers’ compensation defense litigation, representing employers and their workers’ compensation carriers. She has prepared and tried more than 100 cases before the Division of Workers’ Compensation and has successfully defended cases at the Labor and Industrial Commission and the Missouri Court of Appeals.

Susan has defended employers, insurance carriers, self-insured corporations, third-party administrators and claims servicing agencies throughout the state of Missouri. Past and current clients include Fortune 500 corporations, local companies and small businesses. She has defended entities such as departments of transportations, school bus companies, automobile dealer associations and independently owned dealerships. Susan also has defended power companies as well as pharmaceutical companies.

Acting as panel counsel, Susan has defended insurance companies with a national presence against litigation in state court, and has been servicing agents throughout Missouri for more than 28 years.


  • Hayden v. Cut-Zaven, 640 S.W. 3d 819 (2022)
    • Successfully defended numerous appeals of mesothelioma last exposure death claim resulting from asbestosis exposure from hair dryer resulting in no liability for client with numerous issues including: last exposure, medical causation, credibility, collateral source, notice, evidentiary issues, medical bills, and death benefits for widow.
  • Clark v Spann Building, 943. S.W. 2d 343
    • Employee appealed denial of benefits; denial affirmed. Injury did not occur in the course and scope of employment as not on employers premises nor on route approved of accepted by employer.
  • Haffner v AG Edwards, 903 S.W. 2d 197
    • Affirmed denial of benefits, course and scope issues. Employee was injured outside of the crosswalk on the road. No evidence that the employer had knowledge or that this route had become part and parcel part of the employee’s regular route.
  • Minies v Meadowbrook Manor, 105 S.W. 2d 529
    • Affirmed award of benefits. Commission has authority, on its own motion, to take additional evidence and hear live testimony. Issues of aggravation of pre-existing diabetic condition and amputation. Relation Back Rule and improper party named.
  • Boyer v National Express Co., 49 S. W. 3rd 700
    • Affirmed denial of benefits; reversed in part. Commission denied medical causal relationship of herniated disc and denied medical treatment. Administrative law judge acted in excess of powers when awarded permanent partial disability when that was not an issue stipulated to by the parties at the time of hearing.
  • Chambers v SDX, 948 S.W. 2d 448
    • Issues of credibility of witnesses. Affirmed benefits, course and scope issues, industry custom. Employee was an over the road truck driver injured while assisting a driver from another company unhitch a trailer. Court concluded this action was a custom in the trucking industry and thus occurred in the course and scope of employment.
  • Wagner v Wagner, 976 S.W. 2d 598
    • Employee appealed award of permanent partial disability percentage; award affirmed as was supported by competent and substantial evidence.
  • Tidwell v Kloster, 8 S. W. 3rd 585
    • Employee appealed award of benefits; affirmed benefits. Issues on second injury fund liability and issues of employer owed interest on TTD benefits.
  • Blackwell v Puritan Bennett, 901 S.W. 2d 81
    • Affirmed award of benefits. Issues of admissibility of claimant written statement. Employer found not liable for any unauthorized medical care when not requested. Commission weighs the credibility of witnesses and despite inconsistencies and contradictions, constituted competent and substantial evidence of injury.
  • Pope v Gateway Harley-Davidson, 404 S.W. 3rd 315
    • Affirmed Commission award of benefits. Issues of course and scope, equal exposure. Injury occurred in the course and scope or employment when the employee suffered an unexplained fall down the stairs while on the employer’s premise.
  • Harrison v Harrison Turf, 908 S.W. 2d 159
    • Death case, denial of benefits affirmed. Evidentiary issues, sole proprietor. Widow and children appealed the denial of death benefits. Accident involved a one vehicle crash. Was the decedent in the course and scope of his employment at the time of the accident. Dual capacity of employer versus employee. Evidentiary issued on admission of statements made by a deceased party, excluded as hearsay.
  • Appt v Firemen’s Fund, 415 S.W. 3rd 906
    • Reversed administrative law judge and denied benefits. The record contained no evidence that employer owned or controlled the premises where injury occurred.
  • Davidson v Davidson Masonry, 583 S.W. 3d 517 (WD 2019)
    • Application dismissed. No jurisdiction over the matter, Jurisdiction remained with Commission.
  • Stephens v St. Louis Co, Board of Educ., Special School Dist. of St. Louis, 263 S.W. 3rd 807
    • Employee appealed award of Commission awarding benefits. Employee claimed the award was against the weight of the evidence. The employee alleged he was entitled to a higher percentage of PPD and was entitled to an award of future medical and that the award was against the weight of the evidence. Award was affirmed.
  • Greenlee v Dukes Plastering, 930 S.W. 2d 474
    • Slip opinion. Self-inflicted gun-shot wound. Award of PPD was supported by substantial and competent evidence.
  • McKenzie v Midwest Joint Board, 998 S.W. 2d 184
    • Affirmed denial of claim. Accident did not occur in the course and scope of employment. Unexplained one car accident. No competent evidence that injury was work related.
  • Brown v City of St. Louis, 879 S.W. 2d 651
    • Denial of benefits affirmed. Employee, pro-se. Brief was incomprehensible but court reviewed brief despite not conforming to rules.
  • Fehr v R & S Express, 924 S.W. 3d 331
    • Affirmed denial of benefits, sole proprietor. Claimant failed to express clear intent to be covered by the workers’ compensation policy as a sole proprietor of his delivery service as no election made.