Workers' Compensation

Iowa: Constitutional Challenge to Provision Granting Carrier Immunity for Faulty Inspections is Unsuccessful

The Supreme Court of Iowa held that a statutory provision [Iowa Code § 517.5 (2017] that provides tort immunity to insurers and their inspectors for any alleged faulty inspections at an employer's work site is constitutional. Based on that ruling, the Court affirmed the dismissal of a civil action filed by current and former employees of a manufacturing facility against that facility's workers’ compensation insurer alleging that the insurer had negligently inspected (or failed to inspect) the employer's manufacturing plant and that such negligent act or omission had caused plaintiffs serious health problems. Plaintiffs unsuccessfully argued that non-employer tortfeasors are ordinarily subject to common law liability to injured employees, yet the statute carved out a special group—insurers and their inspectors — and granted them immunity from tort.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law (LexisNexis).

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance.

See Clark v. Insurance Co. of Pa., 2019 Iowa Sup. LEXIS 50 (May 3, 2019)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 114.07.

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law

For a more detailed discussion of the case, see