Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner Indicates Fines Will Be Assessed for Any Settlements Occurring within 24 Hours of Hearing
Recently Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner Joseph Cortes II issued an Order indicating that effective July 1, 2018, any settlement occurring within 24 hours of scheduled start of hearing will result in a sanction of $300.00. This sanction shall be assessed in equal proportion against the Claimant and Defendants unless the parties reach an agreement indicating otherwise. However, no such fine will be assessed against the Second Injury Fund. Commissioner Cortes notes that the sanction may be waived at the discretion of the hearing deputy if good cause is shown.
The stated basis is that many contested cases are not settled or reported to the Agency until the eve of hearing. The Commissioner notes that Agency needless expends precious and limited resources preparing for hearing and tax payer funds should not be wasted when there are means to avoid the same.
Essentially, beginning July 1, 2018 parties need to be aware that if they settle less than 24 hours prior to hearing and/or fail to provide notice to the Commission that the case has settled and hearing will not be necessary, a $300.00 fine will be assessed against the parties. For questions regarding Iowa workers’ compensation please don’t hesitate to contact Baylor Evnen attorneys Caroline Westerhold or Paul Barta at 402-475-1075 regarding the same.