Practice Area: Appellate

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 […]


Mark Thomas and Henry Harmon Successfully Defend Anhydrous Ammonia Product Liability Action

June 22, 2020

After years of litigation, including a trip to the Court of Appeals and back, and a two-week trial, the Court of Appeals affirmed the jury’s decision in Nationwide Agribusiness v. PGI, et al. to dismiss the claims against all defendants.  The lawsuit originated with the tragic death of a Boone County farmer who was overcome […]


Iowa Supreme Court Expands Government Liability

On August 30, 2015, Kathryn Breese and her nine-year-old daughter were riding their bicycles through Dankwardt Park in Burlington, Iowa.  While inadvertently riding on a sewer box that was connected to a public pathway, Breese struck a tree and lost control of her bicycle, falling ten feet to the ground, resulting in injuries.  Plaintiffs alleged […]


Iowa Supreme Court Holds Board of Medicine’s Correspondence cannot impose discipline without a finding of Probable Cause

March 2, 2020

Following a Board of Medicine investigation into an emergency room physician after the death of a patient in his care, the physician voluntarily ceased practicing medicine.  The Board closed its investigation without a finding of probable cause that the physician had violated any rule or standard of practice, which is a prerequisite to imposing discipline. […]


Iowa Supreme Court Reduces Jury Award of $6 Million in Punitive Damages to $500,000 following Bad Faith Trial

Plaintiff, Toby Thornton, sustained injuries while operating a work vehicle.  There was no dispute the injury occurred during the course of his employment.  However, during the course of workers’ Compensation benefits, the insurer, American Interstate, challenged Thornton’s claim for PTD benefits.  Thornton filed a Petition alleging bad faith on the part of American Interstate. The […]


Derogatory Language and Policy Violation Not Sufficient to Insulate Employer from Wrongful Discharge Claim

February 6, 2020

Richard Christie appealed a grant of summary judgment following dismissal of his cause of action for violations of the Iowa Civil Rights Act and wrongful discharge against his employer.  In reversing the grant of summary judgment, the Court of Appeals held that Christie had generated fact questions on both claims. Christie was employed by Crawford […]


Abject Fraud does not Negate Forum Selection Clause

Roy Karon is an Iowa resident and the sole member of Peddler, LLC, a company that leases aircraft so personnel can travel the United States and Canada to provide training to financial institutions.  Elliot Aviation, the Elliot Defendants, were engaged in aircraft sales with Karon and Peddler LLC. Following contractual dispute and allegations of fraud, […]