Cutler Law Firm, P.C.

Commissioner holds injury to right arm and right shoulder entitle Claimant to industrial disability

The Commissioner issued a decision on January 25, 2022 that has important implications for injuries to the shoulder and a scheduled member equating an industrial disability award.  In Anderson v Bridgestone Americas, Inc. File No. 5067475 (App. Jan. 25, 2022), the Commissioner held that an injury to Claimant’s right shoulder resulting in permanent disability as well as an injury to Claimant’s right arm resulting in permanent disability entitles Claimant to receive industrial disability benefits pursuant to Iowa Code section 85.34(2)(v). 

In this case, the Deputy Commissioner found Claimant sustained permanent disability to his right arm and right shoulder as a result of a work injury.  Due to the permanent disability of Claimant’s right arm and right shoulder, the Deputy Commissioner provided an industrial disability award pursuant to Iowa Code section 85.34(2)(v).   

On appeal, the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner affirmed the analysis of findings of an industrial disability award.  A similar finding was made in the recent case Carmer v Nordstrom, Inc., File No. 1656062.01 (App. Dec. 29, 2021) in which the Commissioner found that an injury to both shoulders resulted in an industrial disability award.  The Anderson case brings up an additional implication regarding any injury to the shoulder and a scheduled member could result in an industrial disability award.  Arguably, if a Claimant has a permanent injury to their shoulder and finger, toe, etc., they could be entitled to an industrial disability award. 

Although it is currently unknown whether this case will be appealed, we wanted to make sure everyone is aware of this recent decision.  As always, please feel free to contact any of our attorneys for questions regarding this or any other workers’ compensation issues. 

© 2022 Cutler Law Firm, P.C. All rights reserved.