Iowa Court of Appeals Affirms Jury’s Finding that Plaintiff’s Alleged Symptoms were the Result of Preexisting Conditions

Posted on: December 7th, 2018

On May 22, 2013, plaintiff’s vehicle was struck from behind by defendant at an intersection. The evidence showed defendant had not applied the gas pedal and was traveling less than five miles per hour. Neither vehicle showed physical damage. The evidence further showed plaintiff had “multiple musculoskeletal problems” prior to the accident at issue. Plaintiff filed a personal injury action alleging she was injured as a result of Defendant’s negligence. At trial, the jury entered judgment in favor of defendant, finding her alleged condition was caused by preexisting conditions. Plaintiff appealed.

On November 21, 2018, the Court of Appeals affirmed the jury’s finding. In support of its conclusion, the Court stated that defendant presented substantial evidence to support the jury’s finding that her ailments were not caused by the accident at issue (i.e. low impact, preexisting musculoskeletal problems, etc.). The mere fact that Plaintiff presented expert testimony that her symptoms were caused by the accident at issue did not mean that the jury’s finding was unreasonable. “The law requires a jury to consider expert testimony in the same manner it considers any other testimony. The jury may accept an expert’s testimony or reject it.”

Susan Rodriguez v. Cynthia Spencer, No. 17-1583 (Iowa App. November 11, 2018).

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