Workers’ Compensation – Permanent Total Disability

Posted on Dec 18, 2013

No. 12-2008  [3-480] 

AFFIRMED IN PART, REVERSED IN PART, AND REMANDED. 

SEARLE PETROLEUM, INC. v. MLADY  

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Pottawattamie County, James S. Heckerman, Judge.  Heard by Potterfield, P.J., and Mullins and Bower, JJ.  Opinion by Mullins, J.  (22 pages)  

              Searle Petroleum, Inc. and XL Environmental Insurance Co. (the employer) appeal the district court's ruling denying its petition for judicial review filed after the workers' compensation commissioner awarded Gail Mlady permanent total disability benefits based on Mlady's review reopening petition.  The employer asserts on appeal the district court erred in a number of ways when it affirmed the agency's award.  OPINION HOLDS: As we find substantial evidence supports the agency's decision that Mlady suffered an economic change in his condition and that this change has rendered him permanently and totally disabled, we affirm the district court's judicial review order affirming the agency's decision.  However, we reverse the district court's decision with respect to the awarding of the costs associated with Mlady's IME under Iowa Code section 85.39 (2011) because the statutory requirements for such an order were not satisfied, and we also reverse the agency's order that the permanent total disability benefits are to commence as of the date of the injury.  We remand the case to the district court to remand back to the agency for the entry of an order providing that the benefits should commence as of the date the review-reopening petition was filed.

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Steve Lombardi
Iowa personal injury, workers' compensation, motorcycle, quadriplegic, paraplegic, brain injury, death