Iowa Workers' Compensation -- Interest on Penalty Award

Iowa Workers' Compensation -- Interest on Penalty Award

The latest buzz in Iowa workers' compensation law is the recent appeal decision of the Iowa Workers' Compensation Commissioner in Curl v. University of Iowa, filed May 16, 2008. In Curl, the Commissioner affirmed the Deputy Commissioner's assessment of a penalty under §86.13 of the Iowa Code for failure to pay permanent partial disability benefits. However, the Deputy then ordered the employer to pay interest on the penalty award, which has never been done before. Conceding that there is no case authority for ordering interest on penalty benefits, the Commissioner affirmed the order as within the statutory authority of the agency. It is extremely likely that this decision will be appealed.

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Comments

H. Edwin Detlie
  • 05-28-2008

How much interest are we talking about? Was there an egregious period of delay such that the Commissioner wanted to set an example here?

H. Edwin Detlie
  • 05-30-2008

I don't know; I will check with the Claimant''s attorney, to see if he can share an approximate figure. <BR>However, the authority of the Commissioner to award interest on penalty awards can be significant, since penalty awards have run to approximately $50,000.00 in some extreme cases. The penalty under Section 86.13 of the Iowa Code can be up to 50% of the accrued amount that was not timely paid, as determined by the agency.<BR>