Practice Area: Trial, Litigation, & ADR

Thole Successfully Defends Insurer in Declaratory Judgment Action

September 12, 2016

Plaintiff NE Iowa Silo purchased a workers’ compensation insurance policy through an independent insurance agent. Plaintiff has job sites and employees based in Iowa and Wisconsin. The insurance agent told plaintiff the workers’ compensation policy provided coverage for employee injuries arising under Iowa and Wisconsin workers’ compensation law. While working in Wisconsin, one of plaintiff’s […]


Aden Obtains Defense Verdict in Negligence Case

August 19, 2016

During the week of August 15, 2016, Allyson Aden obtained a defense verdict in favor of a local business in Fort Madison, Iowa.  The Plaintiffs alleged Sears Hometown Store negligently installed a refrigerator inside the Plaintiffs’ home, causing water damage to the property. Sears Hometown Store, represented by Aden, denied  Plaintiffs’ allegations and argued the […]


Defense Verdict for Zenor

August 5, 2016

Plaintiff Natasha Shelton sued the Iron Saddle Saloon, an establishment in Dayton, Iowa, alleging it was liable for her injuries (commuted skull fracture and closed head injuries, among other things) from an assault on its premises.  Plaintiff alleged Iron Saddle violated its two safety rules when an altercation occurs on its premises when it (1) […]


Supreme Court Issues Decision Denying Felons’ Voting Rights

July 11, 2016

In Griffin v. Pate, et al., the Supreme Court considered whether delivery of a controlled substance is an “infamous crime” under the voter disqualification provision of the Iowa Constitution. The lawsuit challenged the 1994 law that defined all felonies as “infamous crimes,” unless restored by the governor. The Court held the term “infamous crime” was […]


Supreme Court Finds Violation of Local Ordinance Constitutes Negligence Per Se

July 8, 2016

The Supreme Court of Iowa ordered a new trial in a wrongful-death action arising from a fatal fall from an apartment balcony. The case presented several issues on the applicability of the negligence per se doctrine to an alleged municipal housing code violation. In 2011, Shannon Potts was drinking with friends in a Des Moines […]


Insurer Beware:  Defective Workmanship Claims and CGL Implications

The Iowa Supreme Court recently issued an important decision as it relates to coverage of defective workmanship claims.  In National Surety Corp. v. Westlake Investments, LLC., an owner of an apartment complex (Westlake) and its excess carrier (National Surety) squared of as to who was obligated to pay, if anyone, for water penetration into Westlake’s […]


Zenor and Andresen Obtain Summary Judgment on Behalf of Local Dram

June 28, 2016

Following a rear-end car accident, Plaintiff filed suit against the driver who hit her and Draught House 50, the dram shop where the driver had been prior to the accident.  Plaintiff alleged the dram shop was liable for selling and serving alcohol to the driver when it knew or should have known the driver was […]


Iowa Court of Appeals Finds Plaintiff Failed to Establish ‘Assault’ Where Only Evidence is Plaintiff’s Being ‘Uncomfortable,’ ‘Nervous,’ Upset,’ and ‘Paranoid.’

June 10, 2016

Nicholas Diffenderfer and April Ewold are divorced and have two minor children. The couple’s marriage dissolved after a history of arguments and physical fights. After their divorce, Ewoldt remarried. In May of 2015, Ewoldt and Diffendefer got into an argument regarding Diffendefer’s visitation rights. Diffendefer believed it was his day to assume physical care of […]


Landlord Cannot Shift Financial Duty to Maintain Fit Premises

May 9, 2016

In two recent Supreme Court cases, the Court held a landlord cannot shift the financial costs of repairs necessary to comply with its duty of fitness and habitability under the Iowa Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act. In De Stefano v. Apts. Downtown, Inc., and Caruso v. Apts. Downtown, Inc., the Supreme Court of Iowa […]


Iowa Adopts “Contradictory Affidavit Rule” and Holds Conceived, Yet Unborn Child Has a Claim for Parental Consortium

Plaintiffs appealed from a district court decision granting summary judgment to defendant medical providers, contending the district court erred in concluding the plaintiffs’ wrongful death and loss of consortium claims were time-barred. Decedent Paul Gray was receiving medical care from Defendant Dr. Baldi, an addiction medicine and pain management specialist. Dr. Baldi was aware of […]