Senate Approves Work Comp Legislation Concerning Idiopathic Falls

March 21, 2019

On Tuesday afternoon, the Iowa Senate passed SF 507, which states personal injuries due to idiopathic or unexplained falls from a level surface onto the same level surface are not compensable under workers’ compensation. The bill, which passed 32-17, was brought forward to address an Iowa Supreme Court ruling from last November. The Iowa Supreme Court overturned the work comp commissioner and a district court ruling, remanding the case back to the commissioner, stating these kinds of falls may be compensable so long as the employee proves that a condition of their employment increased the risk of injury. The ruling made Iowa an outlier and could potentially convert the employer into a general health insurer. There is a companion bill in the House, HF 593, which is eligible to be debated on the floor. ABI supports this legislation.