Gits Manufacturing Company and Travelers Insurance Company vs. Frank

Posted on Aug 06, 2015

Frank sustained injury while working for Gits Manufacturing Company.  The employee Frank argued that based upon her injury she was permanently and totally disabled.  Under Iowa law, if someone is permanently and totally disabled, they are entitled to lifetime weekly Workers' Compensation benefits.  Frank had developed constructive bronchiolitis which caused shortness of breath and pulmonary dysfunction.  Frank’s physicians told her that she could no longer return to work for the employer.  Frank argued and alleged that she was an Odd Lot employee.  The Odd Lot Doctrine allows the Iowa Workers' Compensation Commissioner to find an employee has suffered a total disability if the worker can only perform work “so limited in quality, dependability, or quantity that a reasonably stable market for them does not exist.”

The Iowa Supreme Court went on to cite law as it relates to someone being found permanently and totally disabled.  “To establish a total disability, an employee need not look for a position outside of the employee’s competitive labor market.”  The Supreme Court held that Frank was permanently and totally disabled as there was not work available in the competitive labor market.  The Iowa Supreme Court affirmed an award of permanent total disability benefits. 

Niko Pothitakis
Attorney Pothitakis Law Firm, P.C.