Under Iowa workers’ compensation law the issue of apportionment has been an unclear area that has led to a great deal of litigation. Iowa Code Section 85.34(7)(b)(1) covers injuries that occurred before July 1, 2017 and provides:
“If an injured employee has a preexisting disability that was caused by a prior injury arising out of and in the course of employment with the same employer, and the preexisting disability was compensable under the same paragraph of subsection 2 as the employee’s present injury, the employer is liable for the combined disability that is caused by the injuries, measured in relation to the employee’s condition immediately prior to the first injury. In this instance, the employer’s liability for the combined disability shall be considered to be already partially satisfied to the extent of the percentage of disability for which the employee was previously compensated by the employer.”
The Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner issued a decision on August 31, 2018 in the case of Haltom v. JBS USA, LLC and American Zurich Insurance Company. The Haltom case deals with the issue of apportionment, and also addresses a complex set of facts involving multiple injuries.