Court of Appeals Affirms Industrial Disability in Trucking Injury

semi truck in the streetIn Gordon Sevig Trucking v. Radwan, the Court of Appeals affirmed a 40 percent industrial disability award and found evidence that Radwan’s injuries and mental condition were sustained while performing his work duties.

Aly Radwan, a truck driver with Gordon Sevig Trucking, underwent surgery in 2007 due to a prior back condition. He did not inform Gordon Sevig Trucking of the injury when he sought employment with them later in 2007. He did not report any difficulties due to his injury over the two-year period between 2007 and 2009. In November, 2009, Radwan was performing maintenance duties on his truck in the rain and slipped off the catwalk. Although there were no witnesses to the incident, Radwan did catch the attention of a fellow trucker, who called for help. Radwan was hospitalized for three days for injuries sustained to his back and shoulder. In February, 2010 he underwent surgery on his back, and in October, 2010 he underwent shoulder surgery. In addition to pain, he suffered from depression during this time.

The deputy commissioner found and awarded 40 percent industrial disability in this case, and the commissioner agreed with these findings. Attorneys for Gordon Sevig Trucking note that physicians were not notified of Radwan’s prior back injury and, therefore, could not ascertain whether his present condition was the result of his former injury. The court found, however, that even doctors who had been informed of the prior injury could not say with a degree of certainty that his present injuries were an extension of his former injuries. The court further notes that his shoulder injury and subsequent surgery were a result of his accident. The court finds that the commissioners ruling of a 40 percent PPID is not irrational, illogical, or wholly unjustifiable.

The commissioner found that Radwan is intelligent and educated, and should be able to return to school or training, but that he cannot physically return to work as a truck driver. The Court of Appeals affirmed the decisions of the deputy commissioner and the commissioner in this case, finding that his back injuries aggravated his former injury, he suffered a shoulder injury, and experienced a period of depression due to his pain and injuries.

If you have suffered an injury on the job, you need an experienced Iowa workers’ compensation attorney on your side: contact Pothitakis Law Firm online or at 866-804-2914.

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