by | Apr 11, 2019

On April 9, 2019 the Iowa House passed bill SF 507; the bill was previously passed by the Iowa Senate. The bill modifies Iowa Code 85.61(7) to add a new section (c) which provides that personal injuries due to idiopathic or unexplained falls from level surface onto the same level surface do not arise out of and in the course of employment.

The bill is in response to Bluml v. Dee Jay’s Inc. d/b/a Long John Silvers where the Iowa Supreme Court reversed an agency decision which found as a matter of law that an idiopathic fall on a level floor was not compensable. The Supreme Court held that there is no hard and fast rule in Iowa that idiopathic falls on level floors in Iowa are never compensable nor are they always compensable. Rather, the court held the claimant must prove that a “condition of the employment increase the risk of injury” in such cases to be compensable.

SF 507 has not been signed into law at this point in time, but it has now been substituted for HF 593 and sent to Governor Reynolds where she will have 30 days to sign or veto the bill. It is our understanding that Governor Reynolds is expected to sign HF 593 and it would become effective for injuries occurring after July 1, 2019.

We will provide an update once Governor Reynolds signs the bill and it becomes law. For questions regarding Iowa workers’ compensation please don’t hesitate to contact Baylor Evnen attorneys Tom Shires or Paul Barta at 402-475-1075 regarding the same.