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Case No. 21-1968

Roger Blasdell
v.
Linnhaven, Inc. and Accident Fund National Insurance Company/United Heartland

Respondents appealed from a district court ruling on judicial review reversing a determination by the deputy workers’ compensation commissioner that petitioner was not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for the death of his spouse. Respondents contend the court erred by failing to affirm the deputy commissioner’s determination petitioner was not a dependent entitled to benefits because he had willfully deserted his spouse prior to her work-related injury. See Iowa Code § 85.42(1)(a)(2021). The court of appeals affirmed the district court’s ruling. Respondents seek further review.

County:
Polk

Resisters

Roger Blasdell

Applicant

Linnhaven, Inc. and Accident Fund National Insurance Company/United Heartland

Attorneys for Resisters

Thomas M. Wertz
Mindi M. Vervaecke

Attorneys for Applicant

Laura Ostrander

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
21-1968
Date Published:
Jul 20, 2022
Summary

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Celene Gogerty, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by Bower, C.J., and Schumacher and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Schumacher, J.  (12 pages)

            Linnhaven, Inc. and its insurer, Accident Fund National Insurance Company/United Heartland, appeal from a district court ruling that reversed the decision of the workers’ compensation commissioner and found Roger Blasdell was not barred from receiving workers’ compensation benefits for the death of his wife, Heather Blasdell.  OPINION HOLDS: We conclude the commissioner’s decision that Roger deserted Heather without the fault of Heather was not supported by substantial evidence within the meaning of Iowa Code section 85.42(1)(a) (2017).  We affirm the decision of the district court.

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