Sandlin v. Mid American Construction, LLC, 012721 IAWC, 5806495

Docket Nº5806495
Case DateJanuary 27, 2021
GRINNELL MUTUAL, Insurance Carrier,, Defendants.
No. 5806495
Iowa Workers Compensation
Before the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner
January 27, 2021
         Head Notes: 1402.40; 1803; 2502; 2907; 5-9999          APPEAL DECISION           JOSEPH S. CORTESE II WORKERS' COMPENSATION COMMISSIONER          Defendants Mid American Construction, LLC, employer, and its insurer, Grinnell Mutual, appeal from an arbitration decision filed on June 18, 2020, and from a ruling on defendants' application for rehearing (hereinafter "ruling") filed on July 13, 2020. Claimant Marshall Sandlin cross-appeals. The case was heard on September 5, 2019, and it was considered fully submitted in front of the deputy workers' compensation commissioner on October 2, 2019.          In the arbitration decision, the deputy commissioner found claimant's stipulated work-related injury which occurred on Septembers, 2017 resulted in two percent permanent scheduled member functional disability of his left leg. The deputy commissioner found claimant is entitled to reimbursement for his independent medical examination (IME) with Mark Taylor, M.D. The deputy commissioner also ordered defendants to pay claimant's costs of the arbitration proceeding.          Defendants then filed an application for rehearing asserting that the deputy commissioner overlooked the parties' stipulation that claimant's injury was confined to his left foot and asserting that claimant did not meet the prerequisites for IME reimbursement under Iowa Code section 85.39 because defendants never "retained" any physicians.          In the ruling, the deputy commissioner acknowledged his error regarding the parties' stipulation and corrected his finding to provide claimant sustained two percent permanent disability of his left foot. The deputy commissioner denied defendants' application regarding the IME, however.          On appeal, defendants assert the deputy commissioner erred in his determination that claimant sustained permanent disability of his foot. Defendants also assert the deputy commissioner erred in ordering defendants to reimburse claimant for Dr. Taylor's IME because the reimbursement provisions were never triggered. Defendants alternatively argue the costs of the IME are unreasonable.          Claimant does not specify what remedies he seeks on cross-appeal, though it appears he may be seeking clarification regarding the assessment of costs.          Those portions of the proposed agency decisions pertaining to issues not raised on appeal are adopted as a part of this appeal decision.          I performed a de novo review of the evidentiary record and the detailed arguments of the parties. Pursuant to Iowa Code sections 86.24 and 17A.15, the arbitration decision filed on June 18, 2020, and ruling filed on July 13, 2020, are affirmed in part without additional comment and are affirmed in part with the following additional analysis, as set forth below.          I affirm the deputy commissioner's finding that claimant sustained two percent permanent scheduled member functional disability of his left foot which entitles him to receive three weeks of permanent partial disability benefits pursuant to Iowa Code section 85.34(2)(o) (post-July 1, 2017). I affirm the deputy commissioner's findings, conclusions and analysis regarding this...

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