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Weitz Co. v. Selin

Court of Appeals of Iowa

January 23, 2014

WEITZ COMPANY, Petitioner-Appellant,
v.
JEFF SELIN, Respondent-Appellee

Editorial Note:

This decision has been referenced in a "Decisions Without Published Opinions" table in the North Western Reporter.

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Carla T. Schemmel, Judge. Weitz Company appeals the district court order affirming the workers' compensation commissioner's award of additional medical expenses.

Timothy W. Wegman and Joseph M. Barron of Peddicord, Wharton, Spencer, Hook, Barron, & Wegman, L.L.P., West Des Moines, for appellant.

Thomas A. Palmer of Lawyer, Dougherty, Palmer, & Flansburg, P.L.C., West Des Moines, for appellee.

Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Tabor and Bower, JJ.

OPINION

BOWER, J.

Weitz Company appeals the district court order affirming the workers' compensation commissioner's award of additional medical expenses for a hip and back injury. Weitz argues the claimant failed to show the injuries were causally connected to the workplace, and as a result certain medical expenses were unauthorized. We find substantial evidence supports the decision of the commissioner concerning additional care of the hip. However, we find Weitz has failed to preserve error on authorization of additional care for the back injury. We affirm.

I. Background Facts and Proceedings

Claimant Jeff Selin (Selin) was injured while working for Weitz Company (Weitz) on January 14, 2009. Selin underwent back surgery following the injury, which was performed by Dr. Nelson. Dr. Nelson imposed lifting restrictions and Selin returned to work.

Selin continued to see Dr. Nelson following his back surgery with limited success. After initially realizing fair progress, Selin began complaining of increasing pain in his back, leg, and buttocks. On July 8, 2009, Dr. Nelson noted Selin was experiencing " greater pain than one would anticipate" in light of unremarkable physical examinations. On July 14, 2009, Selin requested he be excused from work while addressing his ongoing symptoms. Because Selin was primarily engaged in sedentary work, and because his employer was providing him with a space to lie down as needed, Dr. Nelson declined Selin's request. On July 30, 2009, Selin reported a forty-percent improvement, though Dr. Nelson found his improvement to be much more significant. Selin continued to improve throughout August and September 2009, however, on September 22, 2009, he reported a worsening of symptoms. Dr. Nelson continued to recommend Selin work through the pain and advised him further medical intervention was unlikely to help.

Selin's condition remained unchanged until December 1, 2009, when he reported a slight worsening of pain. At that time Dr. Nelson determined Selin may be best served by a second opinion. On December 29, 2009, after being shown surveillance video of Selin moving freely and performing household tasks, Dr. Nelson found Selin had achieved maximum medical improvement and assigned a ten-percent partial impairment rating.

Selin filed an application for alternative medical care. The application was dismissed because Weitz denied the condition was compensable.

Selin saw Dr. McGuire on April 12, 2010, who referred him to Dr. Kimelman. Selin saw Dr. Kimelman on May 28, 2010. Both doctors discussed hip pain with Selin and causally connected the pain to the workplace injury, though Dr. McGuire felt there may not be anything wrong with the hip. Dr. Kimelman ordered a MRI and bone scan. Selin was also seen by Dr. Igram as part of his ...


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