Million Dollar Award- Lifetime Benefits Awarded To Burlington Worker Suffering From Hearing Loss And Tinnitus

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A Burlington worker sustained hearing loss and tinnitus as a result of noise exposure at work.  The claimant subsequently experienced depression due to the hearing loss and tinnitus.  The claim was denied by the Iowa employer and the Iowa workers’ comp insurance carrier and they denied that the worker’s condition was related to noise exposure at the workplace.  The case proceeded to hearing.  At hearing, an Iowa Workers’ Compensation Deputy disagreed with the Iowa employer and insurance carriers and awarded the claimant lifetime worker’s compensation benefits.  Unsatisfied with the result, the insurance company appealed to the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner, the district court and finally, to the Iowa Supreme Court.  In all appeals, Pothitakis Law Firm successfully kept the award of Lifetime Benefits.  Pothitakis Law Firm, in 2010, pursued what is referred to as a  partial commutation for the claimant, requesting the payment of all benefits in one lump sum.  Once again, the case went to hearing and the Deputy awarded benefits to be paid in a lump sum close to $650,000.  The Defendants again appealed and wanted the decision overturned.  Pothitakis Law Firm fought to keep the award for their client and won.  The claimant’s total award of benefits has been approximately $1,000,000 as a result of the hearing loss, tinnitus and depression.