The Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner filed an Appeal Decision on November 3, 2020 in the case of Mary Coleman Duchesneau v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. The claimant alleged injuries to her bilateral hands, bilateral wrists, bilateral elbows, bilateral shoulders and her neck. The claimant was seen by a large number of physicians that gave differing opinions concerning the diagnosis of her injuries, the recommended treatment and the causes of her injuries.
Ultimately, the Workers’ Compensation Commissioner found that most of the claimed injuries were work related. The Commissioner also found that the claimant had suffered 55% industrial disability and therefore was entitled to 275 weeks of permanent partial disability benefits at the claimant’s weekly rate of $338.36.
The claimant was 59 years old at the time of the workers’ compensation trial and had worked at Wal-Mart since 2003. Over her life she had worked in a number of fields including carpentry, janitorial, retail sales, baking, dry cleaning, child care, cab driving, cashier, and photo manager. At Hy-Vee she primarily had worked as a deli merchandise supervisor. The claimant developed problems with both of her hands and arms which radiated up to her shoulders. The claimant believed her problems were a result of using a handheld device to put prices on deli items for 3 to 4 hours a day.