Practice Area: Appellate

Iowa’s Highest Court Holds Plaintiff’s Release of Driver Extinguishes the Vehicle Owner’s Vicarious Liability Notwithstanding Plaintiff’s Express Reservation of Right to Sue the Vehicle Owner

April 13, 2021

Plaintiff was a passenger in a golf cart driven by his son when they struck a bridge and the impact ejected Plaintiff, causing severe injuries. After settling his claims with the driver with a signed release that expressly reserved his claims against the golf course, the owner of the golf cart, Plaintiff sued the golf […]


Iowa Supreme Court Reverses District Court’s Dismissal of Pedestrian Lawsuit against City over Defective Sidewalk

Plaintiff fell while walking along a City sidewalk and broke her arm and wrist. She alleged her fall was caused by the defective sidewalk. Plaintiff sued the City for negligence, alleging that the City failed to properly maintain, repair, and warn about the dangerous, defective, and uneven sidewalk. The City filed a motion to dismiss […]


Iowa Court of Appeals Upholds $39,000 Penalty Award in Workers’ Compensation Case

March 19, 2021

The Iowa workers’ compensation commissioner ordered an employer and its workers’ compensation insurance carrier to pay a $39,000 penalty for failing to pay an injured worker approximately $80,000 in healing period benefits. The commissioner found the employer and insurance carrier terminated benefits without a reasonable cause and awarded a 50 percent penalty in accordance with […]


Iowa Appellate Court Upholds $10.9 Million Commercial Property Assessment

A 2017 county tax assessment valued a Lowe’s store at $11.8 million. Lowe’s challenged the assessment on grounds that it was excessive. After the county review board sided with the county’s assessment, Lowe’s appealed to the Iowa Property Assessment Appeal Board (PAAB). The PAAB held a hearing on Lowe’s appeal in 2018. At the hearing, […]


Iowa Supreme Court Confirms that Punitive Damages are Unavailable in Excessive Force Claims against the State

February 4, 2021

Plaintiff, Krystal Wagner, individually and as the administrator of her son’s estate, filed suit against the State of Iowa and a Department of Natural Resources (DNR) officer. Wagner’s son, who was nineteen years old and suicidal, was shot and killed by a DNR officer during an armed standoff. Wagner filed suit in federal court, asserting […]


Iowa Resumes Jury Trials

Iowa courts resumed jury trials on February 1, 2021, with social distance, face covering, and other safety precautions in place to keep jurors, judges, attorneys, and other trial participants socially distant and compliant with state and federal guidelines. Jury trials were postponed when the Iowa Supreme Court issued an Order on November 10, 2020, suspending […]


Iowa Court of Appeals Affirms Dismissal of Civil Rights Claim against County Attorney

January 4, 2021

In June 2018, Plaintiff Jeffrey Simmermaker filed an action pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 1983, against Jeffrey Renander individually and in his official capacity as the Cedar County Attorney, asserting malicious prosecution, false imprisonment, defamation of character, and violations of Simmermaker’s constitutional rights. In short, Plaintiff claimed that Renander had violated his constitutional rights “by […]


Iowa Supreme Court upholds District Court’s Grant of Motion to Dismiss in Breach of Contract

Plaintiff, Benskin, Inc. entered into a written loan agreement with West Bank to borrow money.  On May 18, 2018, Benskin sued West Bank in a three-count petition alleging breach of (I) the 2007 contracts, (II) the 2006 promissory note, and (III) the implied duties of good faith and fair dealing. West Bank filed a motion […]


Iowa Supreme Court Postpones Jury Trials

In a November 10, 2020 order, the Iowa Supreme Court postponed all jury trials until February 1, 2021. In rescheduling jury trials, the court will use the case priorities in a supervisory order issued on July 9, 2020. According to that supervisory order, the following matters will be given priority: emergency matters, criminal cases, Chapter […]


Mitchell Victorious at Iowa Court of Appeals

In a jury trial, Clark Mitchell obtained a defense verdict on behalf of his client Defendant Huckleberry Entertainment, LLC.  The Des Moines County jury found in favor of Huckleberry Entertainment by denying the Plaintiff Kimberly Ransdell from recovering for injuries she sustained while operating a go-kart.  Ransdell moved for a new trial arguing irregularity in […]