Offer of $500 Turned Down- Award $500,000
In 2013 the Pothitakis Law Firm, P.C. assist an injured worker on a Second Injury Fund Claim. The offer of settlement was $500. This offer was turned down and the parties proceeded to hearing. At hearing the injured worker was found to be permanently and totally disabled entitling him to a present value award of approximately $500,000.
Fire Victim- $750,000 verdict
On March 22, 2011, J.M. was living in a boarding house in Columbus Junction, Iowa. J.M. paid a weekly rent for a room within the boarding house. The landlord of the facility collected rent from approximately nine tenants. The configuration of the boarding house was that there was a kitchen in the front of the building, by the front door. The rooms were all behind the kitchen, towards the back of the building. Unfortunately, the only exit and entrance to the space was through the front door, by the kitchen. Other exits had been locked and closed off.
On March 22, 2011, a fire started in the kitchen. J.M. was in his room at the time. Because the fire consumed the kitchen area which is where the front door was located, he was unable to exit the building. For approximately 15 minutes, J.M. made phone calls in an attempt to escape the fire. Unfortunately, he was unable to escape and suffered fatal injuries from the smoke and fire.
In December of 2013, Pothitakis Law Firm assisted by co-counsel commenced trial in Louisa County, Iowa. Ultimately, the jury agreed that the landlord was negligent and awarded $750,000 ($500,000 in actual damages and $250,000 in punitive damages).
Appeal Decision results in award
In January of this year, the Pothitakis Law Firm received an Appeal Decision finding in favor of our injured client. The employee was injured in 2009 while performing work for his employer. He sustained a left shoulder injury that resulted in a surgical procedure. After surgery, the Claimant’s treating physician recommended that he return to work full duty without restrictions. The physician also set forth a 1% impairment.
Although the Claimant was able to return to work and perform his job duties, he did so with significant pain and discomfort. The employer and insurance carrier took the position that since the Claimant was able to return to work and earn more money than he had prior to the injury, that he was not entitled to an industrial disability award.
The claim proceeded to hearing before the Iowa Workers' Compensation Commissioner. The Deputy Workers' Compensation Commissioner entered an order awarding the Claimant over 100 weeks of benefits, which with interest amounts to in excess of $65,000. Not happy with the Decision, the Defendants appealed the matter to the Iowa Workers' Compensation Commissioner.
In January of this year, an Appeal Decision was filed affirming the Deputy’s Decision and Award.