Case name: Estness v. Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino, No. 1-832/11-0783 (Iowa Ct. App. 12/07/11, unpublished).
Ruling: In an unpublished decision, the Iowa Court of Appeals held that a casino floor attendant was not entitled to benefits for her cumulative shoulder injury.
What it means: In Iowa, evidence that a worker did not engage in repetitive labor will undermine a claim for a cumulative injury.
A casino floor attendant's job required her to greet people, pay out jackpots, complete paperwork, perform minor repairs to machines, and push in chairs. She sought treatment for her left shoulder and was diagnosed with left shoulder adhesive capsulitis. She received a cortisone shot and physical therapy. An independent medical evaluator opined that her injury was caused by repetitious work at the casino. She sought workers' compensation benefits, claiming she had a cumulative shoulder injury. The casino and its insurer disputed the compensability of the attendant's injury. The Iowa Court of Appeals held that she was not entitled to benefits.
The court found substantial evidence that the attendant had not engaged in repetitive labor. She said she paid out about 20 jackpots per shift, and each took about 15 minutes to complete the paperwork. She said this did not cause her any aggravation physically. She also spent time doing minor repairs of machines, such as getting lost dollar bills, rebooting the machines, refilling machines with tickets, or tightening buttons. She also pushed in chairs, and she said she usually used her foot to push them in. The court said that her work duties were varied and did not involve strenuous use of her shoulder.
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January 9, 2012
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