Reedy v. White Consol. Industries, Inc., No. 92-1098

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Iowa
Writing for the CourtCARTER
Citation503 N.W.2d 601
Docket NumberNo. 92-1098
Decision Date21 July 1993
PartiesLarry REEDY, Plaintiff, v. WHITE CONSOLIDATED INDUSTRIES, INC., a Delaware Corporation d/b/a WCI Laundry Division, Defendant.

Page 601

503 N.W.2d 601
Larry REEDY, Plaintiff,
v.
WHITE CONSOLIDATED INDUSTRIES, INC., a Delaware Corporation d/b/a WCI Laundry Division, Defendant.
No. 92-1098.
Supreme Court of Iowa.
July 21, 1993.

Page 602

Dykema Gossett, Stephen D. Turner, and Stephen S. Muhich, Grand Rapids, MI, and Michael S. Vestle of Childers & Vestle, Cedar Rapids, for defendant.

Tito Trevino and Janece M. Winterhof of Trevino & Leehey, Fort Dodge, for plaintiff.

Considered by HARRIS, P.J., and LARSON, CARTER, NEUMAN, and SNELL, JJ.

CARTER, Justice.

The United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa has certified two questions of law to be answered by this court as provided in Iowa Code sections 684A.1 and .3 (1993) and Iowa Rules of Appellate Procedure 451 to 461. The questions relate to that portion of a pending federal civil action in which plaintiff, Larry Reedy, a former employee of the defendant, White Consolidated Industries, Inc., asserts the bad-faith failure of the defendant, as a self-insured employer, to pay workers' compensation medical benefits relating to injuries sustained by plaintiff.

The certified questions are as follows:

1. Is an action against a self-insured employer for bad-faith failure to pay a workers' compensation claim for medical benefits recognized in Iowa?

2. If the Iowa courts were to recognize the existence of a Bad-Faith Action, must the employee first litigate his workers' compensation claim before the Iowa Industrial Commission and exhaust all appeals before such a Bad-Faith Action is ripe for adjudication?

We separately consider these inquiries.

I. Bad-Faith Liability of Self-Insured Employers With Respect to Nonpayment of Workers' Compensation Benefits.

The federal court's inquiry preceded our decision in Boylan v. American Motorists Insurance Co., 489 N.W.2d 742 (Iowa 1992), which, for the first time under our law, acknowledged that a civil tort claim might be predicated on the bad-faith failure of a workers' compensation insurer to pay benefits due an injured employee under the Iowa Workers' Compensation Act. That decision, however, only clarifies some of the uncertainty that pertains to the pending federal case.

One of the bases for the Boylan decision was the recognition that the exclusive-remedy defense contained in Iowa Code section 85.20 (1993) is not available to insurance carriers. The present claim is against a self-insured employer. We have not yet determined whether such an employer is subject to the same liability as that which was recognized in Boylan.

The point of beginning for this inquiry is our decision in Harned v. Farmland Foods, Inc., 331 N.W.2d 98 (Iowa 1983). In that case, we gave a strong indication that the bad-faith actions of an employer and insurance carrier with respect to denial of benefits to...

To continue reading

Request your trial
31 practice notes
  • McCorkindale v. American Home Assur. Co./AIC, No. C 95-4108.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. Northern District of West Virginia
    • November 30, 1995
    ...Also on October 18, 1995, defendants moved to hold this action in abeyance on the ground that in Reedy v. White Consol. Indus., Inc., 503 N.W.2d 601, 602-03 (Iowa 1993), the Iowa Supreme Court concluded that courts considering claims of bad faith failure to pay workers compensation benefits......
  • Kuykendall v. Gulfstream Aerospace Tech., No. 97,036.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Oklahoma
    • December 17, 2002
    ...Freight, Inc., 1987 OK 112, ¶ 30, 757 P.2d 810; Falline v. GNLV Corp., see note 33, infra. 6. Reedy v. White Consolidated Indus., Inc., 503 N.W.2d 601-02 (Iowa 7. Id. 8. White v. Northwestern Bell Tele. Co., 514 N.W.2d 70, 77 (Iowa 1994). See also, Arp v. AON/Combined Ins. Co., note 33, inf......
  • Reedy v. White Consol. Industries, Inc., No. C 91-3026.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. Northern District of Iowa
    • July 3, 1995
    ...Supreme Court. On July 22, 1993, the Iowa Supreme Court answered both questions in the affirmative. Reedy v. White Consol. Ind., Inc., 503 N.W.2d 601 (Iowa 1993). However, in light of that decision, on September 15, 1993, the court granted a further stay until an adjudication was made on th......
  • Zimmer v. Travelers Ins. Co., No. 4:04-cv-00542.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States State District Court of Southern District of Iowa
    • November 20, 2007
    ...that Defendants make that differs from prior arguments on the issue is a contention that Reedy v. White Consolidated Industries, Inc., 503 N.W.2d 601, 603-04 (Iowa 1993) held "that bad faith suits are unripe and should be stayed until all preliminary issues cognizable in, the workers' compe......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
31 cases
  • McCorkindale v. American Home Assur. Co./AIC, No. C 95-4108.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. Northern District of West Virginia
    • November 30, 1995
    ...Also on October 18, 1995, defendants moved to hold this action in abeyance on the ground that in Reedy v. White Consol. Indus., Inc., 503 N.W.2d 601, 602-03 (Iowa 1993), the Iowa Supreme Court concluded that courts considering claims of bad faith failure to pay workers compensation benefits......
  • Kuykendall v. Gulfstream Aerospace Tech., No. 97,036.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Oklahoma
    • December 17, 2002
    ...Freight, Inc., 1987 OK 112, ¶ 30, 757 P.2d 810; Falline v. GNLV Corp., see note 33, infra. 6. Reedy v. White Consolidated Indus., Inc., 503 N.W.2d 601-02 (Iowa 7. Id. 8. White v. Northwestern Bell Tele. Co., 514 N.W.2d 70, 77 (Iowa 1994). See also, Arp v. AON/Combined Ins. Co., note 33, inf......
  • Reedy v. White Consol. Industries, Inc., No. C 91-3026.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. Northern District of Iowa
    • July 3, 1995
    ...Supreme Court. On July 22, 1993, the Iowa Supreme Court answered both questions in the affirmative. Reedy v. White Consol. Ind., Inc., 503 N.W.2d 601 (Iowa 1993). However, in light of that decision, on September 15, 1993, the court granted a further stay until an adjudication was made on th......
  • Zimmer v. Travelers Ins. Co., No. 4:04-cv-00542.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States State District Court of Southern District of Iowa
    • November 20, 2007
    ...that Defendants make that differs from prior arguments on the issue is a contention that Reedy v. White Consolidated Industries, Inc., 503 N.W.2d 601, 603-04 (Iowa 1993) held "that bad faith suits are unripe and should be stayed until all preliminary issues cognizable in, the workers' compe......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT