The quick answer, is no a pre-existing hip problem will not preclude an award finding a permanent-total disability. Another question this case answers would be whether a plan to retire precludes a finding of permanent total disability. Again the answer with these set of facts would be, that it does not. This case turns mostly on the law of aggravation of a pre-existing condition and the hearing officer determined, based on a set of well developed facts, that the nature of the work was such as to support an aggravation. What you will learn from reading the decision is that both the work description and a well-reasoned medical opinion will find support in the case law concerning aggravation as a substantial cause that can lead to a permanent-total award. The attorney, Bob Rush of Cedar Rapids did an excellent job for the injured worker, Robert Warren. Not to say Jordan Kaplan and Mark Woolums from Betty, Neuman & McMahon didn’t; they did, but the facts were on the side of the Claimant in this case.

If you have an injured worker close to retirement with a pre-existing condition this would be a good case to read. I have uploaded this case to our site and you find the case by following this link.

Iowa Bar Association Case Description for ARCHER DANIELS MIDLAND v. WARREN No. 14-0956 AFFIRMED.


            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Richard G. Blane II, Judge.  Heard by Vogel, P.J., and Potterfield and Mullins, JJ.  Opinion by Potterfield, J.  (21 pages)  

            Archer Daniels Midlands, Inc. (ADM) appeals from the judicial review decision affirming the workers' compensation commissioner's award of permanent total disability benefits to Robert Warren.  ADM contends the district court erred in failing to remand this case to the commissioner for reevaluation of the evidence, and maintains Warren's pre-injury-date retirement plans—as a matter of law—preclude an award of permanent total disability.  OPINION HOLDS: Because the commissioner weighed the expert opinion evidence thoroughly and documented its finding of causation, and the district court accepted the finding of the commissioner as supported by substantial evidence in the record, we affirm the causation finding.  Additionally, we do not find the commissioner's determination as to industrial disability was irrational, illogical, or wholly unjustifiable.  We therefore affirm.

The next step would be to file for a full commutation before the interest rates begin to raise. 

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