RECENT IOWA APPELLATE CASELAW IMPACTING WC STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS AND NOTICE DEFENSE

The Iowa Supreme Court recently decided Tweeten v. Tweeten, No. 22-2081 (December 22, 2023) and Tyler v. Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc., No. 23-0393 (February 7, 2024), cases with significant impact on application of the statute of limitations under Iowa Code section 85.26 and the notice provision of section 85.23. The Claimant in Tweeten worked for […]

IOWA SUPREME COURT INTERPRETS IME REIMBURSEMENT FEES UNDER SECTION 85.39(2)

In Mid American Construction, LLC v. Sandlin, the Iowa Supreme Court held that under Section 85.39(2), an employee is entitled to the reasonable cost of an entire examination accompanying a physician’s determination of the employee’s impairment rating, not just the component cost of the impairment rating itself. Additionally, the Court held that agency factfinding must […]

ADVERSE SIDE EFFECTS FROM COVID-19 VACCINE FOUND NOT COMPENSABLE IN IOWA

In a recent holding from the Commissioner in Driscoll v. City of Cedar Rapids, the Commissioner overturned a previous finding that an employee’s adverse reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine was a compensable injury. The initial Deputy decision found that the employee was “strongly” encouraged by his employer to get the COVID-19 vaccine at the height […]

VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTER BENEFIT RATE UPDATE

We received several questions recently about the firm benefit rate applicable to the volunteer firefighters who sustain injuries in the course of and arising out of their volunteer capacity as a firefighter. Specifically, there have been questions about the current applicable 140% of the statewide average weekly wage benefit rate which applies to volunteer firefighters […]

ISSUE PRECLUSION DOES NOT BAR CLAIMS FOR PERMANENT INJURY IN REVIEW-REOPENING PROCEEDINGS IN IOWA

In Green v. North Central Iowa Regional Solid Waste Authority, the Iowa Supreme Court affirmed that the principle of issue preclusion does not bar a worker’s claim for permanent injury in a review-reopening proceeding. Section 86.14(2) permits the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner to “reopen an award for payments or agreement for settlement … [to inquire] […]

INTOXICATION DEFENSE DOES NOT REQUIRE PROCEDURES REQUIRED FOR SOME OTHER EMPLOYEE DRUG TESTS

In Davis v. Gordon Food Serv., Inc., the Iowa District Court in Polk County affirmed the Workers’ Compensation Commissioner’s ruling that evidence to support the intoxication defense under Section 85.16 does not need to be obtained in accordance with the rules and procedures under Section 730.5(7).  See Iowa Code § 85.16; see also Iowa Code […]
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