Anita Dhar Miller successfully argued in an Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commission hearing that a claimant who alleged permanent disability resulting from a work injury failed to demonstrate so by a preponderance of the evidence; as a result, the deputy did not award claimant any benefits. Anita represented claimant’s former employer and their workers’ compensation carrier. The issue the parties submitted to Deputy Pals for resolution was whether claimant sustained permanent disability as a result of a work injury to his back and if so, the extent of industrial disability. Claimant argued that he sustained permanent disability and relied heavily on the opinions of his IME doctor.
Defendants relied on the opinions of claimant’s treating doctor, who initially opined that claimant had sustained permanent impairment and required permanent restrictions, but after defendants provided the doctor with additional information, including surveillance footage of claimant working at his own logging business, the doctor amended his opinions. Additionally, defendants argued that the treating doctor’s amended opinions that claimant had a 0 percent impairment and any limitations claimant had were related to the degenerative process of claimant’s lumbar spine, were more credible than the opinions of claimant’s IME doctor. Defendants further argued that claimant’s IME doctor did not address the surveillance footage, nor did he address the inconsistencies in the FCE report. The deputy agreed and found that claimant did not carry his burden to prove that he sustained any permanent disability or that he had any permanent restrictions.
Joel Rogers v. The Waldinger Corporation, No. 5059762, (Iowa Workers’ Comp. Com’n Feb. 18, 2020).