Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner SuggestsThat Deep Venous Thrombosis is a Body-As-A-Whole Injury, Even If Limited to a Schedule Member
Recently, in Raymond v Menard, Inc., File No. 5039009 (Dec. 18, 2013), the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner determined that a claimant whose deep venous thrombosis was aggravated or caused by work-related conditions would be entitled to assessment of industrial disability and that permanent partial disability benefits were not limited as a scheduled member injury. The Commissioner reasoned that although the disability was contained to the lower extremity, deep venous thrombosis was a disease of a vascular nature extending throughout the body. Comparing the same to complex regional pain syndrome or regional sympathetic dystrophy, the Commission noted that although the symptoms are located in an extremity, they extended to the whole body and as such are a body-as-a-whole injury.
This decision, while relying on prior precedent, reinforces the notion that the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commission continues to defer to finding a body-as-whole injury, and thus entitling claimants to assessment of industrial disability, in lieu of determining that a claimant is limited to a scheduled member injury, even in cases where the resultant disability is limited to a scheduled member.
For questions regarding this case or the distinction between body-as-a-whole and scheduled member injuries, please contact Iowa workers’ compensation attorney Paul Barta at 402-475-1075.