HARRIS STEEL GROUP, INC. and AMERICAN ZURICH INSURANCE COMPANY, Petitioners-Appellants,
JUSTIN BOTKIN, Respondent-Appellee.
from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Michael D.
employer appeals following judicial review of a worker's
compensation decision granting an application for alternate
Brian Scieszinksi of Bradshaw, Fowler, Proctor &
Fairgrave, P.C., Des Moines, for appellants.
J. Currie of Currie & Liabo Law Firm, P.L.C., Cedar
Rapids, for appellee.
by Doyle, P.J., and Tabor and Schumacher, JJ.
employer appeals following judicial review of an
agency decision granting an injured worker's application
for alternate medical care. It contends the agency erred in
granting the application because the worker refused to attend
an independent medical examination to determine whether the
requested treatment related to a compensable injury. Under
the facts before us, we conclude that the agency properly
granted Botkin's petition for alternate care.
Background Facts and Proceedings.
Botkin was employed by Harris Steel Group, Inc. (Harris) when
he injured his right shoulder at work in June 2015. Harris
authorized Botkin to receive treatment from Dr. Tuvi Mendel,
who performed surgery on Botkin's shoulder in November
2015. When Botkin returned for a follow-up appointment one
year after surgery, he complained that his pain had increased
Botkin continued to have trouble with his right shoulder, he
tried to schedule an appointment with Dr. Mendel late in
2017. Dr. Mendel told Botkin to get Harris's
authorization for treatment because more than two years had
passed since his injury. Harris scheduled Botkin for an
independent medical examination to take place in December
2017, but Botkin refused to go. In turn, Harris failed to
respond to Botkin's written requests to authorize
additional treatment with Dr. Mendel.
April 2018, Botkin submitted a claim for alternate medical
care to the workers' compensation commissioner. The
agency found that Dr. Mendel is the only medical provider
that Harris authorized to treat Botkin and thus Harris is not
allowed to interfere with Dr. Mendel's treatment
practices. It also determined that Botkin's request for
continued treatment with Dr. Mendel is reasonable and ordered
Harris to authorize continued treatment. Harris applied for
rehearing, arguing that denial of the alternate medical care
was warranted based on Botkin's refusal to submit to an
independent medical examination. The agency denied the
application. Harris raised the same argument in a petition
for judicial review, which the district court denied.
Scope and Standard of Review.
review the district court's ruling on judicial review
under the standards in the Iowa Administrative Procedure Act.
See Bell Bros. Heating & Air Conditioning v.
Gwinn, 779 N.W.2d 193, 199 (Iowa 2010). Our review is
limited to determining whether the district court correctly
applied the law in exercising its review under Iowa Code
section 17A.19(8) (2015). See Tyson Foods, Inc. v.
Hedlund, 740 N.W.2d 192, 195 (Iowa 2007). If we reach
the same conclusions as the district court, we affirm; if
not, we reverse or modify. See id.