The case you want to point out to your attorney is Waldinger Corp. v. Mettler, No. 10-0502 (Iowa July 6, 2012). In this case the Supreme Court determined that allowing more than a single healing period is consistent with section 85.34(1) of the statute. In doing so the Iowa Supreme Court overruled a previous case known as Ellingson v. Fleetguard, 599 N.W.2d 440 (Iowa 1999). 

In Mettler the claimant was found to have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI or the doctors can’t presently do anything further to help you from a medical standpoint) by the doctor and then was paid permanency benefits. But later, as we see time and time again the doctors decided the injured worker needed more surgery to fix his ankle. Several more surgeries were performed and the injured worker stayed off of work from September 18, 2007 until December 7, 2007.  The Iowa Supreme Court’s decision rests on one work, the letter “a” as used in 35.34(1). They adopted the more expansive interpretation which makes complete sense from a common sense standpoint. Although some may say this is a liberal interpretation I say it isn’t. It’s a common sense interpretation based on reality.

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