Practice Area: Appellate

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, […]


Court Deems Dram Notice Need Not Name Liquor License Holder

Hollingshead claims he was injured during an incident at Misfits, a bar in Des Moines.  Following this alleged injury, Hollingshead’s counsel sent notice pursuant to § 123.93 to Founders Insurance Company.  The Notice named the holder of the liquor license as “Leonard LLC D/B/A Misfits.”  The liquor license holder was DC Misfits, LLC, not Leonard […]


Thomas secures Defense Verdict in Products Liability Claim

The Iowa Court of Appeals affirmed the jury’s dismissal of a lawsuit filed against Grefe & Sidney’s client, PGI International, and others in the Boone County District Court, Nationwide Agribusiness Insurance Company, as Subrogee of Farmers Cooperative Company v. Parker Hannifin Corporation, Squibb-Taylor Inc., Dalton Ag Products, Inc. and CNH Corp., a/k/a CNH America, LLC […]


Group Home Providing Caretaking Services did not Owe Duty to Child Harmed by one of its Residents

December 27, 2019

Defendant DAC, Inc. operates a group home that provides home and community based services for disabled persons. On March 25, 2015, a resident of the home with intellectual disabilities and a history of sexual abuse and physical aggression left Defendant’s property without the staff’s knowledge or permission. While missing from the home, the resident approached […]


Iowa Court of Appeals Affirms Dismissal of Gross Negligence Claim

Defendant Jeffrey Clark worked for Apartments Downtown, a property-management business owned by his parents. While he did not have a formal title, Defendant’s duties included assigning workers to complete construction tasks. In April 2014, Defendant tasked Bronson Ganka and two other workers with drilling vent holes in the front of a building. The workers had […]