Dillavou v. Plastic Injection Molders, Inc. and United Fire & Casualty.
The Iowa Court of Appeals recently affirmed a decision of the Iowa Workers' Compensation Commissioner. The Claimant sought Workers' Compensation benefits based upon an injury that occurred at work. While walking down the hall, a coworker bumped her and she fell to the ground sustaining injury. The injured employee initially claimed that the coworker bumped her down on purpose. It is important to note that the two coworkers did not get along. They had a very adversarial relationship both related to work and outside of work. The Iowa Workers' Compensation Commissioner determined that the incident that gave rise to the injury was intentional by the other worker and therefore it was not work-related.
Iowa Code Section 85.16(3) allows a defense by an employer and insurance carrier to a Workers' Compensation claim if they can show that the injury was a “willful act of a third party directed against the employee for reasons personal to such employee.”
The Iowa Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Iowa Workers' Compensation Commissioner finding that the employee’s injury was the result of a willful act of co-employee that was personal to the injured employee.