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House committee hears testimony on bill to ban corporations from claiming unborn babies as employees


A Missouri lawmaker is pushing to ban corporations from claiming unborn babies as employees after the untimely death of a pregnant Missouri Department of Transportation employee.

Kaitlyn Anderson was 25-years-old and six months pregnant with her son, Jaxx, when she died in 2021. A loophole in Missouri law led to Anderson's wrongful death lawsuit being dismissed. When her family tried to press charges for Jaxx's death, MoDOT claimed Jaxx as an employee.

On Tuesday, the Missouri House of Representatives General Laws committee heard testimony on a bill that would prevent this from happening again. The committee will vote whether to approve the bill next week.

When ABC 17 News asked MoDOT about the lawsuit and proposed legislation, a spokesperson said they cannot comment on pending litigation.

The deadly crash happened in November 2021 on Telegraph Road near Interstate 255, according to previous reporting. Anderson was part of the MoDOT crew working in a closed lane. A man suffering a diabetic seizure crashed into the work zone, killing Anderson, 58-year-old James Brooks and permanently injuring Michael Brown.

"Kaitlyn was just an amazing daughter. I got blessed for 25 years having her in my life... And I'm suffering every day by not having her in my life," Tonya Musskopf, Kaitlyn's mother, said.

Anderson's wrongful death lawsuit was dismissed, because under Missouri's Worker Compensation laws, there were no dependents to be paid out since she left behind no spouse or surviving children, according to previous reporting from CNN.

"The only recourse we were left to try to hold out accountable for their complete and utter negligence was through Jaxx, his life that was also taken that day. He most certainly was not an employee. He was an innocent bystander," Tabitha Moore, Kaitlyn's aunt, said.

"Jaxx didn't have a Social Security number. He didn't do an interview. He was never hired. He wasn't paid a paycheck, was didn't have taxes withheld. And if all that had been true, would MoDOT have been violating child labor laws?" Rep. Dean Van Schoiack (R-Savannah) said.

Working with Anderson's family, Van Schoiack introduced a bill named "Jaxx's Law" to ban corporations from claiming unborn babies as employees in litigation.

"It made me sick," Musskopf said. "I just couldn't believe not only did they kill my daughter and my grandson, but they were trying disgusting tactics to get out of any kind of accountability for killing them."

Article Topic Follows: Missouri Politics

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Hannah Falcon

Hannah joined the ABC 17 News Team from Houston, Texas, in June 2021. She graduated from Texas A&M University. She was editor of her school newspaper and interned with KPRC in Houston. Hannah also spent a semester in Washington, D.C., and loves political reporting.


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