Iowa’s Injured Worker, Michelle Tuttle, Silencing the Injured WorkerSteveL
A right without a remedy is essentially no right at all. A right to file for benefits without legal representation is even less of a right. It is more like Lucy setting up the football for Charlie Brown to kick and then ripping the ball away just as his leg follows through for the kick.
Injured Workers in Iowa Have No Leg to Stand On
That’s essentially what the outcome is for Michelle Tuttle when it comes to challenging ADM’s resistance to her receiving Iowa Workers’ Compensation benefits. Her lawyers used a legal means (a subpoena) to discovery the truth from her employer, ADM, and the deputy ordered Tuttle to pay an expert witness chosen by the employer $3,900.00 as a sanction for daring to use a subpoena.
What the heck is going on in Iowa Workers’ Compensation?
Since July 1, 2017 there is no incentive for lawyers to get involved with assisting injured workers. None. Unless of course the lawyers want to go broke. The employer picks the treating doctors. The employer controls everything. The injured worker controls nothing. The injured worker is not the doctor’s customer, the one selecting the treater is the customer. The injured workers in Iowa choose nothing. Zip. Nada. Zilch. Diddly-Squat. Zero.
This is a ghastly ruling, draconian in any sense of fairness, but not surprising under the leadership of Governor Reynold’s choice for an Industrial Commissioner. Reynolds hates worker rights. She hates lawyers who represent injured workers. She hates workers because they are not producers in her mind. They are necessary only for Republican campaign contributors to make a profit so they can contribute more to Republican political causes. Beyond that she finds them useless.
When the July 1, 2017 changes had passed, but were waiting for that date to roll around, one deputy told me they would make decisions the way they were told to make decisions because they were fearful of losing their jobs. That deputy was telling the truth.
Good God, has everyone lost their minds?
Iowa is no longer a two-party state. Iowa is a one-party state and an excellent example is Senator Grassley’s by-invitation-only “Town Hall Meetings” where any opposition that might ask tough questions are denied admittance. Refusing to at least listen to your political opposition is not a democracy. It is an autocracy.
Autocracy – A system of government by one person with absolute power.
What is an example of an autocracy? In autocratic governments, the power of the ruler is absolute; dissent is not tolerated. For this reason, scholars have often linked autocracy with totalitarian regimes, such as that of Adolf Hitler in Germany and Josef Stalin in the Soviet Union.
How is what Grassley is doing any different?
21-1246 Michelle Tuttle v. Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner