Practice Area: Appellate

Iowa Supreme Court Explores the Definition of a “Possessor” Under Iowa Premises Liability Law

September 1, 2022

In July 2020, Plaintiff filed suit in the Dallas County District Court seeking damages after she slipped on an icy driveway of a home that she was considering purchasing. Shortly after filing her original Petition Plaintiff filed an amended Petition naming the homeowners and the homeowners’ listing agency, Iowa Realty Company, Inc. (“Iowa Realty”), as […]


Ben Erickson Obtains Summary Judgment on Behalf of Local Restaurant

Ben Erickson obtained summary judgment on behalf of a local restaurant sued for negligence. The case arose from a slip and fall injury on the restaurant’s premises. Specifically, Plaintiff alleged the restaurant was negligent in the maintenance and upkeep of its dining area. After conducting discovery, Ben moved for summary judgment, arguing Plaintiff (1) failed […]


Aaron Lindebak Obtains Majority Fault Verdict Against Third Party Defendant

Aaron Lindebak successfully defended Nancy McKillip in a motor vehicle accident case at trial. Plaintiff Mark Simmons and Defendant McKillip were involved in a car accident in Dubuque in 2018. Simmons alleged that McKillip was negligent for failing to stop or yield at a stop sign. After investigation, Aaron brought in to the lawsuit Defendant […]


Iowa Supreme Court Finds Easement Not Dedicated to City

July 5, 2022

William McNaughton entered into an easement agreement with Jeanine and Stanley Chartier allowing a small part of a road to pass through his property. The road was used to access the Chartiers’ business on their property located adjacent to McNaughton’s. The agreement provided that it was a “’private’ easement granted for the use and benefit […]


Iowa Supreme Court Decision Allows Subcontractors More Time To Post Commencement of Work Notice

Iowa Code Chapter 572 governs mechanics’ liens. In accordance with Section 572.13A, a general contractor or owner-builder is required to post a commencement of work notice to the Mechanic’s Notice and Lien Registry (MLNR) website within ten days of starting work on a residential construction project. If the general contractor or owner-builder fails to post […]


Andy Hall and Ben Erickson Obtain Favorable Ruling from Iowa Supreme Court

On June 10, 2022, the Iowa Supreme Court determined that Andy Hall and Ben Erickson’s client, Liberty Mutual, was not required to reimburse Plaintiff, another insurer, for workers’ compensation benefits totaling over $250,000. The case arose after Plaintiff paid workers’ compensation benefits and later determined it was not the employer’s insurer on the date of […]


IOWA SUPREME COURT FINDS MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE SUIT PROPERLY DISMISSED FOR FAILURE TO FILE CERTIFICATE OF MERIT

May 17, 2022

The plaintiff was hospitalized to treat her prolonged dizziness. While medicated, she stood up and fell in her hospital room, suffering injuries. She sued the hospital, several physicians, and other healthcare providers involved in her treatment, alleging their “professional negligence” caused her injuries. The defendants filed a motion to dismiss on the grounds that the […]


IOWA SUPREME COURT HOLDS “DIRECT PHYSICAL LOSS OF OR DAMAGE TO PROPERTY” LANGUAGE IN A COMMERCIAL PROPERTY INSURANCE POLICY REQUIRES A PHYSICAL ASPECT TO THE LOSS

In March 2020, Governor Reynolds issued a proclamation closing all bars and restaurants from dine-in or in-person services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In compliance with the proclamation, both Jesse’s Embers (Des Moines bar and restaurant) and Wakonda Club (Des Moines country club) closed down. Both businesses had commercial property insurance with similar language […]


Iowa Court of Appeals Finds Shooting on Property Was Outside Property-Owners’ Scope of Liability

March 2, 2022

Lee Christenson shot and killed Thomas Bortvit on a farm owned by Roger Christenson, Lee’s uncle, and Donald Christenson, Lee’s grandfather. Bortvit’s parents sued Roger and Donald, asserting that they had failed to take reasonable steps to prevent the property from being used for the purpose of firing loaded pistols by unsupervised persons under the […]


Iowa Supreme Court Dismisses Lawsuit by Bars Briefly Shut Down by COVID-19 Proclamation, Finding Exceptions to Mootness Inapplicable

During the COVID pandemic in late August 2020, Governor Reynolds issued a public health disaster proclamation that temporarily required bars and taverns in six counties to close their doors. Six of those establishments filed a suit seeking an injunction that would block the proclamation on grounds it exceeded her statutory and constitutional authority. After the […]