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  • Todd Gaffney and Kellen Bubach obtained a defense verdict on behalf of a railroad client in a crossing accident case. The Plaintiff alleged that he suffered serious injuries as a result of the accident. At trial, the Plaintiff argued that the train’s horn was not operating properly. The Plaintiff also had argued that the train was speeding for the foggy weather conditions, but this claim was dismissed on summary judgment. The railroad argued the horn was operating properly, and that the railroad was not negligent in any manner. Following an 8 day trial, the jury found in favor of the Firm’s client, finding the railroad was not negligent in any respect and finding the Plaintiff was negligent. The jury did not award the Plaintiff any damages.

  • Connie Diekema successfully defended a general surgeon at trial. The Plaintiff’s estate alleged that the surgeon caused the wrongful death of the Plaintiff when he cut or injured the colon during a laparoscopic cholecystectomy and did not timely diagnose and repair the injury. The jury found that the surgeon complied with applicable professional standards and awarded no damages.

  • Todd Gaffney, Kellen Bubach, and Robert Johnson obtained a defense verdict on behalf of a railroad client in a Federal Employers Liability Act case. The Plaintiff alleged that he suffered serious back injuries as a result of the cumulative trauma he experienced over his nearly 20-year career working as an engineer for the Defendant railroad. The railroad argued that the Plaintiff’s lawsuit was not filed on time and argued that the railroad provided a reasonably safe place to work. Following a nearly two week trial, the jury found in favor of the Firm’s client and did not award the Plaintiff any damages.

  • Todd Gaffney, Kellen Bubach, and Andrew Stanley obtained summary judgment in favor of a defendant railroad client in a Federal Employers Liability Act case where the Plaintiff railroad conductor alleged that he experienced mental distress as a result of a crossing accident. The Defendant moved for summary judgment on the grounds that the Plaintiff had insufficient evidence of any unsafe working conditions sufficient to proceed to trial on the question of whether the Defendant railroad provided any unsafe working conditions. The United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa agreed and granted the Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment, resulting in a dismissal of all claims against the Firm’s client.

  • Jack Hilmes and Erik Bergeland successfully defended a general surgeon at trial. The plaintiff alleged that he lost over 100 cm of small bowl due to the defendant’s care in managing a suspected bowel obstruction. The jury found that the surgeon complied with applicable professional standards and awarded no damages.

  • On April 25, 2018, Todd Gaffney and Kellen Bubach obtained dismissal on behalf of a trucking company and its driver in a case involving a traffic accident. Plaintiff repeatedly failed to cooperate in discovery. The Firm aggressively sought a sanction of dismissal as a result of these failures. After reviewing the briefs and arguments at hearing, the Court dismissed the case against the Defendants.

     

  • Kevin Driscoll and Eric Hoch obtained a summary judgment in a personal injury action pending in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa seeking to recover for injuries sustained after a downed power line struck Plaintiff in the face and head, arising out of a  Workers’ Compensation injury.  Plaintiff and Defendant were linesmen working to fix overhead power lines that had been damaged due to high winds.  The Plaintiff alleged co-employee gross negligence arising out of the storm cleanup procedures.  Judge Stephanie Rose granted summary judgment against the Plaintiff finding as a matter of law, the Plaintiff could not establish the elements of gross negligence under Iowa law.

  • On April 9, 2018 Kevin Driscoll, Kellen Bubach, and Andrew Patton obtained summary judgment in favor of a defendant attorney in a case involving allegations of legal malpractice. The Firm argued that the Defendant was entitled to immunity as a court-appointed guardian ad litem and argued that Plaintiff failed to provide expert testimony establishing a case for legal malpractice. The Court entered judgment in favor of the Defendant on all claims.

     

  • On January 25, 2018, Stacie Codr, Kellen Bubach, and Joseph Moser obtained summary judgment in favor of the Firm’s client in a product liability case in federal court in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa. The Plaintiffs’ alleged that the Defendant manufactured or designed an RV refrigerator that contained a defect, resulting in a fire on Plaintiffs’ property. The Defendant argued, among other things that it was entitled to immunity under Iowa Code Section 613.18 because it did not manufacture, design, or assemble the refrigerator at issue. The Court agreed with the Defendant’s arguments and entered judgment in favor the Firm’s client, dismissing all claims with prejudice.

     

  • Kevin Driscoll and Megan Marty obtained a defense verdict in favor of Finley Law’s CPA firm client in a jury trial involving the preparation and review of the audited financial statements of a multi-million dollar manufacturing company. Finley Law’s client was sued as a Third-Party Defendant by another CPA firm who had audited the company’s financial statements which were relied on by the Plaintiffs in connection with their $4 million investment which was lost. The jury returned a verdict finding 0% fault as to Finley Law’s client, 30% fault as to Plaintiff and 70% fault as to the Third-Party Plaintiff who had audited the company’s financial statements.

  • Andrew Patton and Robert Johnson were successful in obtaining a  judgment in favor of their client, a general contractor, in a homeowner/contractor dispute during a fire restoration project.  The trial court ruled the general contractor established the value and the amount of work performed pursuant to the contract,  and the contractor’s entitlement to a judgment in that amount, which the homeowner had disputed.

     

  • On June 22, 2017, Kellen Bubach obtained dismissal of a medical malpractice case involving allegations of improper anesthesia and informed consent issues. Defendants argued that the statute of limitations precluded Plaintiff’s claim due to a prior dismissal. Defendants also argued that Plaintiff did not timely serve the action. The Court agreed that the statute of limitations precluded Plaintiff’s claim and dismissed the case.

     

  • On June 9, 2017, Rick Harris and Kellen Bubach obtained summary judgment on behalf of a neurosurgeon in a medical malpractice case. Plaintiff failed to designate appropriate expert witnesses and the Court granted the Defendants motion for summary judgment.

     

  • On June 8, 2017, Rick Harris and Kellen Bubach obtained summary judgment in a medical malpractice case involving allegations of medical negligence and fraud. In a detailed order, the Court granted the Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment on all grounds alleged, and the Plaintiffs dismissed the remaining claims against the Firm’s clients.

     

     

  • Kermit Anderson obtained summary judgment in the trial court on behalf of a client defending claims of disability discrimination in the termination of plaintiff’s employment and in allegedly failing to accommodate his disabilities.  Plaintiff appealed.  On March 8, 2017, the Court of Appeals, in a thorough twenty-five page opinion affirmed the trial court’s ruling.  The appellate court concluded that there had been no genuine issue of fact produced to show that the defendant’s articulated reason for terminating the plaintiff’s employment was a pretext for discrimination.  The court further held that one of the plaintiff’s failure to accommodate claims was legally barred for having been untimely filed with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission and the other was barred because he first requested accommodation after learning his employment would be terminated.  Plaintiff sought further review with the Iowa Supreme Court which was denied in an Order filed May 2, 2017.

  • Kevin Driscoll, Kellen Bubach, and Andrew Patton obtained summary judgment on behalf of an engineer and a civil engineering firm in case where a contractor filed a lawsuit claiming over $2,000,000.00  in damages, alleging negligence in the preparation of the plans and specifications for the design and construction of the Lower Bee Branch Creek Restoration Project in Dubuque, Iowa.

    In a detailed order, the Court ruled that the economic loss doctrine barred the Plaintiff’s negligence claims against the Defendant engineers as a matter of law, for economic losses only, where the parties were involved in a commercial construction project and were connected by a network of contracts, despite Iowa law generally recognizing a professional negligence exception to the economic loss doctrine. The Court also found in favor of the Defendants that the Plaintiff’s previous arbitration against the City precluded it from re-asserting its claims against the Defendants. The successful motion for summary judgment resulted in a complete finding of no liability against the Firm’s clients without the expense of trial.

     

  • Jack Hilmes and Erik Bergeland successfully defended a Cedar Rapids general surgeon at trial. The Plaintiff alleged that the physician was negligent in his performance of a colostomy takedown procedure and, months later, in the use of mesh to repair an incisional hernia. The jury returned a unanimous verdict in favor of the surgeon.

  • Rick Harris and Kellen Bubach moved to a dismiss an automobile accident claim on the grounds that the Defendants had never been served with the original notice and petition as required under Iowa law and Plaintiff’s failure to timely serve the Defendants required dismissal. Plaintiff argued that the steps he took towards service constituted good cause for an extension for service. The Court found the service delay was abusive and dismissed the action, resulting in no liability for the Firm’s clients.

     

  • Kevin Driscoll and Kellen Bubach moved to dismiss claims against a legal malpractice insurance company and several of its individual employees. The district court granted the motion to dismiss and the Plaintiff appealed. On appeal, the Iowa Court of Appeals affirmed the district court, stating: “The petition was prolix, rambling, incoherent, irrational, and failed to set forth any facts supporting a non-frivolous legal claim…The case is utterly without merit, and the judgment is affirmed.”

     

  • Erik Bergeland and Kellen Bubach moved to dismiss a lawsuit against a physician involving claims of medical negligence on the grounds that the physician was not timely served with the original notice and petition under Iowa law. Because the Court found that there was not good cause for the failure to timely serve, the District Court granted the Motion to Dismiss in favor of the physician.

  • Rick Harris and Kellen Bubach obtained a dismissal of an action before the Iowa Board of Pharmacy on behalf of a pharmacist in connection with an allegedly misfilled prescription. Because we demonstrated that the firm’s client was not the pharmacist responsible for the alleged misfill, if any, the Iowa Board of Pharmacy granted the parties’ motion to dismiss.

  • Jack Hilmes and Erik Bergeland successfully defended an emergency room physician and his practice group against a claim of wrongful death. The family of a 41 year-old woman who died of an intra-cerebral hemorrhage claimed that the physician was negligent in failing to diagnose a life-threatening condition three days preceding the woman’s death. The jury found that the physician was not negligent at the close of a two-week trial.

  • Rick Harris and Kellen Bubach obtained summary judgment in favor of a hospital in a case involving allegations of medical negligence. Plaintiff alleged the Defendant was negligent in failing to properly treat the Plaintiff. Defendant moved for summary judgment on the grounds that Plaintiff lacked sufficient evidence from an expert witness to establish their claims. The Court granted the motion for summary judgment, dismissing all claims against the Defendant.

  • Todd Gaffney, Robert Johnson and Kellen Bubach obtained a dismissal for the firm’s client in an action alleging the Plaintiff developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos containing products. Defendant moved for summary judgment on the grounds that Plaintiff could not produce sufficient evidence of exposure to Defendant’s products. In response to the motion for summary judgment, Plaintiff’s counsel dismissed the action against the firm’s client.

  • Steve Scharnberg obtained a directed verdict and dismissal on behalf of a podiatrist after the conclusion of the Plaintiff’s case-in-chief during a recent jury trial. The court determined that the Plaintiff had not met their burden of establishing a case of medical negligence through expert testimony. The Plaintiff’s expert podiatrist’s testimony was determined to be insufficient to establish that any negligent act of the Defendant podiatrist caused the injury of which the Plaintiff complained. The case was dismissed prior to jury deliberations or offer of evidence on behalf of the Defendant.

  • Stacie Codr and Kellen Bubach successfully moved to dismiss Plaintiff’s claims against a hospital and healthcare provider in a case involving allegations of medical negligence. The Plaintiff failed to serve the original notice and petition on the Defendants within the time allowed under Iowa law. The Court determined that the Plaintiff had no good cause for the delay in service and dismissed all claims.

  • Todd Gaffney, Robert Johnson and Kellen Bubach obtained a dismissal for the firm’s client in an action alleging the Plaintiff developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos containing products. The Defendant moved for summary judgment on the grounds that its product never contained asbestos and further argued that the Plaintiff had failed to properly identify any exposures to the Defendant’s product. In response to the motion for summary judgment, Plaintiff’s counsel dismissed the action against the firm’s client.

  • Kermit Anderson successfully represented the defendant-appellee insurance company in the Iowa Supreme Court’s recently announced decision in the case of Just, et. al. v. Farmers Automobile Insurance Association d/b/a Pekin Insurance Co.  In a case of first impression in Iowa, the Court unanimously held that a non-simultaneous multiple vehicle collision nevertheless constituted a single “accident” for purposes of the limitation of liability provisions in an insurance policy.  The injured parties had argued that each impact with the insured vehicle was a separate “accident,” but the Court concluded that a single-accident interpretation is consistent with terms of the insurance policy stating that the per-accident limit applies “regardless of the number of . . . [v]ehicles involved in the auto accident.”  Aligning itself with the great majority of jurisdictions to have considered the issue, the Court furthermore adopted the so-called “cause theory” by which the number of “accidents” is to be determined not by the sheer number of collisions or impacts, but by the number of “causes” of the injuries claimed.

  • Rick Harris and Kellen Bubach successfully obtained a defense verdict in favor of an anesthesiologist in a medical negligence action. During a four day trial, the Plaintiff alleged the anesthesiologist failed to properly monitor her IV site while he was providing care during emergency surgery, leading to a hand injury. After deliberating for less than one hour, the jury determined the anesthesiologist was not negligent in any manner, and the Court entered judgment on the verdict in favor of the defendant anesthesiologist.

  • Eric Hoch and Jack Hilmes obtained summary judgment on behalf of hospital and medical professional defendants.  Applying Iowa Code section 147.136, the District Court barred the plaintiffs’ claims for past medical expenses, to the extent those medical expenses were replaced or indemnified by Deere & Company’s health plan.  The District Court also rejected Deere & Company’s claim that Iowa Code section 147.136 was preempted by ERISA, and barred Deere & Company from recovering, as subrogee, medical expenses it paid on behalf of the plaintiffs.

  • Erik Bergeland and Marisa Saber (Cozen O’Connor – Chicago) successfully obtained a verdict on behalf of United Services Automobile Association. USAA brought the action against a property management company after the property of its insured home owners was partially destroyed by water damage from frozen pipes. The jury found the management company had breached its contract with the home owners and that the company’s agents were negligent in failing to take steps to avoid the water damage. The jury awarded $139,703.39 in damages to compensate USAA for the payments made on behalf of its insureds.

  • Erik Bergeland successfully defended a Des Moines hospital in the trial of a premises liability case. The Plaintiff alleged that improper snow removal caused him to fall at the hospital and to rupture his patellar tendon. His injury resulted in major reconstructive surgery and eighteen months of rehabilitation. The jury found that the hospital was not at fault.

     

  • Connie DiekemaErik Bergeland and Kellen Bubach successfully defended a hospital against claims that it was liable for a doctor’s alleged refusal to properly participate in a DHS investigation of child abuse. Plaintiffs’ claimed that this failure to properly participate in the investigation led to further abuse. The Defendants moved for summary judgment on the grounds that the defendant physician participated in good faith in the investigation and therefore was immune from any liability for his participation in the investigation. After the district court denied the motions for summary judgment, the Iowa Supreme Court granted the Defendants’ request for interlocutory appeal. On Appeal, the Iowa Supreme Court reversed the denial of summary judgment and found that there was no evidence that the physician’s interaction with DHS was not in good faith. Therefore, the Defendants were entitled to immunity, and the Iowa Supreme Court remanded the case to the district court for entry of judgment in favor of the Defendants.

  • Steve Scharnberg and Stacie Codr successfully defended an appeal in which Plaintiffs challenged a district court’s denial of class certification and grant of summary judgment in favor of a large hospital system.  Plaintiffs argued uninsured patients should receive discounts similar to patients covered by private insurance or those enrolled in governmental health care programs.  The Iowa Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s conclusion that the Plaintiffs had not established the requirements for certification of a class action.  Additionally, the Iowa Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the hospital system on claims for breach of contract and consumer fraud.

  • Eric Hoch, Rick Harris and Erik Bergeland successfully defended a physician on appeal after the District Court’s favorable entry of summary judgment dismissing claims of medical malpractice and battery, as well as an order bifurcating the proceedings.  The Iowa Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court holding:  the Plaintiff did not preserve error on whether there was a triable issue of fact on her medical battery claim; there was no evidence in the record supporting the battery claim pled; and the Plaintiff could not establish a prima facie case of medical malpractice because she suffered no recoverable damages.  The Iowa Court of Appeals further held that the District Court did not abuse its discretion in bifurcating the proceedings.

  • Rick Harris and Kellen Bubach successfully defended an emergency room physician in a wrongful death action.  The family of the former patient alleged the physician failed to diagnose an aortic aneurysm.  After a six day trial, the jury determined the emergency room physician was not negligent in any way, and the court entered judgment in favor of the defendant physician.

  • Connie Diekema and Jeff Craig successfully defended an appeal of a dismissal of a medical malpractice claim as  a discovery sanction.  At trial, the District Court declared a mistrial after Plaintiff’s withholding of a key piece of evidence from the Court and from all Parties, including the firm’s client, was discovered.  Subsequently, the District Court dismissed Plaintiff’s claim as a sanction for this violation of the Iowa Rules of Civil Procedure.  On appeal, the Iowa Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of Plaintiff’s claim as a sanction for this discovery violation holding: (i) the District Court possessed the requisite authority to impose the sanction of dismissal under the facts of the case and (ii) the District Court did not abuse its discretion in exercising this authority.

  • Kevin Driscoll obtained a plaintiff’s verdict in the case of USAA v. Clement Heating and Cooling. The trial involved a subrogation action arising out of a fire that severely damaged a residence where a gas line had been installed for a new fireplace on the exterior of the home and in direct contact with the down conductor for a lightning protection system on the home.  During a thunderstorm a lightning strike was intercepted by the lightning protection system and was carried to the gas line, igniting the gas line creating a blow torch effect since the gas line was in direct contact with the down conductor.  The home was severely damaged by the resulting fire. The jury returned its verdict in the amount of $377,917.25.

     

  • Tom Finley and Kellen Bubach obtained summary judgment on behalf of a physician.  Plaintiff alleged that the Defendant physician was negligent in failing to obtain all information necessary to provide a proper recommendation for treatment when consulted by the Plaintiff’s treating physician.  The Defendant moved for summary judgment on the grounds that the informal consultation was provided gratuitously as a professional courtesy.  Therefore, public policy precluded any type of liability on behalf of Defendant because liability for informal consultations would have a chilling effect on their use, to the detriment of both providers and patients.  The Plaintiff did not resist the motion for summary judgment, and the Court dismissed the Defendant from the lawsuit.

  • Todd Gaffney, Eric Hoch and Kellen Bubach successfully defended an appeal regarding the proper tax treatment of a Federal Employer’s Liability Act verdict under the Railroad Retirement Tax Act (RRTA).  The Plaintiff asserted that the judgment was not subject to taxes under the RRTA.  Defendant asserted that the judgment was taxable under the RRTA, and the trial court agreed.  On appeal, the Iowa Supreme Court affirmed and held that the judgment constituted taxable compensation under the RRTA.  Therefore, the Defendant railroad properly withheld the taxes from the amount of the judgment.

  • Kevin Driscoll and Kellen Bubach obtained a dismissal for a property owner in a case involving claims of premises liability.  The Plaintiff alleged injuries arising from a fall on property the Defendant owned but leased to another entity.  The Defendant moved to dismiss the complaint as untimely and barred by the statute of limitations.  The Plaintiff did not resist the motion.  The Court granted the Defendant’s motion to dismiss and dismissed the Defendant property owner from the case.

  • Rick Harris and Stacie Codr successfully defended a transplant surgeon and a surgical resident in a case involving the placement of a hemodialysis catheter.  After a trial lasting more than a week, the jury determined the surgeons were not negligent and a judgment was entered in favor of the defendant surgeons.

  • Robert Johnson and Kellen Bubach obtained a verdict in favor of an insurance company in a subrogation action involving an aircraft accident.  The Defendant asserted that the accident caused no damage to the aircraft Plaintiff insured.  Plaintiff asserted that the accident caused significant damage to the aircraft it insured.  After a bench trial, the Court found in favor of the Plaintiff and entered a judgment for over 97% of the damages requested.

  • Jack Hilmes and Erik Bergeland successfully defended an orthopedic surgeon at trial. The Plaintiff alleged that she developed a sciatic nerve palsy secondary to a negligently performed total hip replacement. The jury found that the surgeon was not negligent.

  • Rick Harris successfully defended an electrophysiologist in a case involving the diagnosis of a heart arrhythmia.  After a trial lasting over a week, a jury determined the electrophysiologist was not negligent and entered judgment in favor of the defendant electrophysiologist.

  • Jack Hilmes, Erik Bergeland and Kellen Bubach successfully defended an appeal involving claims of medical malpractice against a physician.  At trial, a jury found that the Plaintiff’s comparative fault barred recovery.  The Plaintiff filed a combined motion for a new trial and judgment notwithstanding the verdict, arguing that the jury’s verdict was inconsistent and not supported by substantial evidence.  The trial court denied the motions and entered judgment in favor of the Defendant.  The Iowa Court of Appeals affirmed.

  • Rick Harris and Kellen Bubach successfully defended a radiologist at trial in a case involving allegations of medical malpractice.  Plaintiff alleged that he was injured as a result of the Defendant’s allegedly improper reading of an x-ray study.  The Defendant maintained she complied with all applicable standards of care in interpreting the x-ray study. The jury found the Defendant was not negligent and awarded no damages.

  • Eric Hoch and Steve Scharnberg successfully defended an appeal involving claims of breach of implied warranty of workmanlike construction and negligence.  The Plaintiff homeowners association brought a case against several parties which included subcontractors.  The District Court granted summary judgment in favor of the subcontractors ruling that implied warranty claims are not actionable against subcontractors, and that the homeowners association’s negligence claim was precluded by the economic loss doctrine.  The Iowa Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court’s grant of summary judgment.  The Iowa Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Iowa Court of Appeals.

  • Todd Gaffney, Eric Hoch and Kellen Bubach successfully defended an appeal involving claims of negligence against a railroad.  The District Court granted the railroad’s Motion for Summary Judgment on the grounds that Plaintiffs were 100%, or approaching 100%, at fault for the accident.  Therefore, under Iowa’s comparative fault scheme, Defendants were entitled to summary judgment as Plaintiffs’ comparative negligence barred recovery.  The Iowa Court of Appeals agreed and affirmed the District Court’s decision.

  • Rick Harris and Stacie Codr successfully defended a nurse and hospital at trial in a case involving allegations of nursing negligence.  The Plaintiff alleged that she was seriously injured in connection with administration of an intramuscular injection of medication.  Defendants asserted the nurse administered the injection consistent with applicable standards of care.  After a one week trial, a jury determined the nurse and hospital were not negligent and judgment was entered in favor of Defendants.

  • Rick Harris and Erik Bergeland successfully defended an orthopaedic surgeon in a case involving shoulder surgery.  The patient complained a pain pump prescribed by the orthopaedic surgeon caused her to lose cartilage in her dominant shoulder.  Shoulder replacement surgery ensued.  The defendant orthopaedic surgeon denied the pain pump caused the loss of cartilage.  After a trial lasting over a week, a jury determined the orthopaedic surgeon was not negligent and judgment was entered in favor of the orthopaedist.

  • Rick Harris and Stacie Codr successfully defended physicians on appeal after the district court dismissed a medical malpractice lawsuit after summary judgment proceedings.  In reviewing several decisions of the distrct court, the Iowa Court of Appeals concluded the district court acted reasonably in setting new deadlines for plaintiff to designate expert testimony, appropriately determined the plaintiff’s pro se motion did not substantially comply with Iowa Code section 668.11, acted within its discretion in declining to continue its consideration of the summary judgment motions, and appropriately granted summary judgment for all defendants given the plaintiff’s failure to timely designate expert witnesses.

  • Rick Harris successfully defended an ophthalmologist in a case involving a complication during cataract surgery.  After a week long trial, a jury determined the physician was not negligent and judgment was entered in favor of the defendant ophthalmologist.

  • Stacie Codr and Jeff Craig successfully represented Wells Fargo Financial Leasing, Inc. (“Wells Fargo”) in an appeal arising from a company’s default under an equipment lease agreement.  The district court granted summary judgment in favor of Wells Fargo concluding that Defendant was a mere continuation of the entity that originally entered into the equipment lease agreement with Wells Fargo and Defendant was therefore subject to successor liability under Iowa law.  The Iowa Court of Appeals affirmed the decision in favor of Wells Fargo.

  • Jack Hilmes, Erik Bergeland and Kellen Bubach successfully defended an appeal involving claims of medical malpractice against a physician regarding a cancer diagnosis.  The District Court entered a directed verdict in favor of the defendant on the grounds that Plaintiffs had failed to provide sufficient evidence, in the form of expert testimony, to support each element of their malpractice claim.  The Iowa Court of Appeals agreed with the District Court and affirmed the Court’s decision to grant a directed verdict in favor of the defendant.

  • Kevin Driscoll and Jeff Craig successfully defended an appeal involving claims of malicious prosecution, false imprisonment, and defamation by a city’s former clerk against the city’s attorney.  The District Court granted summary judgment, finding, based on a State of Iowa audit, that probable cause existed as a matter of law such that the city attorney’s actions, even if he assisted in the investigation, did not constitute malicious prosecution and the subsequent arrest of the plaintiff was legal.  Therefore, the city attorney did not engage in false imprisonmnet, and a qualified privilege protected the city attorney’s statements against plaintiff’s defamation claims.  The Iowa Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court’s grant of summary judgment.

  • Kevin Driscoll and Eric Hoch successfully represented a certified registered nurse anesthetist against a potential class action alleging that the CRNAs had acted in excess of their license.  On September 16, 2013 the Iowa District Court for Fayette County ruled in favor of the Defendants denying Plaintiffs’ Motion for Class Certification.  The Court also granted Defendants’ Motion for Partial Summary Judgment on Plaintiffs’ claims that the Defendants were acting in excess of the scope of their license as certified registered nurse anesthetists.

  • Kermit Anderson successfully defended Hy-Vee against allegations of negligence in maintaining the floors in one of its Des Moines area stores.  Plaintiff claimed back and leg injuries after slipping in a small quantity of water upon leaving the checkout aisle in the store.  The jury found that Hy-Vee was not at fault and awarded no damages.

  • Steve Scharnberg and Stacie Codr successfully represented a large hospital system against a potential class action suit alleging that uninsured patients should receive discounts similar to patients covered by private insurance or those enrolled in governmental health care programs. The court found that the Plaintiffs had not established the requirements for certification of a class action. Additionally, the court granted summary judgment on claims for breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and consumer fraud and dismissed the case.  In its decision, the Court noted the hospital system wrote off the vast majority of accounts owed by uninsured patients and that charity care, forgiveness of bills and financial assistance are available to qualifying patients.

  • Kermit Anderson successfully defended a premises owner against allegations of negligence arising from snow removal activities.  Plaintiff claimed serious physical injuries after sustaining a fall in a parking lot.  The jury found the defendant premises owner was not at fault and awarded no damages.

  • Kermit Anderson successfully defended Hy-Vee in a four-day jury trial.  The plaintiff, a former Hy-Vee employee, had alleged that his employment was terminated in violation of public policy because he was pursuing workers’ compensation benefits.  Hy-Vee denied the plaintiff’s claim and maintained that his employment was terminated for valid work-related reasons.  The jury found that the plaintiff had not proved his claim and returned its verdict in favor of Hy-Vee.

  • The Court of Appeals affirmed a summary judgment awarded to a Des Moines surgeon and his practice group.  The court found that the Plaintiff had failed to produce adequate proof of negligence to proceed to trial.  Although the Plaintiff’s subsequent treating physician had been designated as an expert witness to testify regarding the standard of care, the witness did not offer any opinions critical of the firm’s client and the case was dismissed.  Tom Finley and Erik Bergeland handled the matter on behalf of the firm.

  • Rick Harris successfully defended a northern Iowa surgeon at trial.  The Plaintiff alleged that her complications arising out of a gallbladder removal surgery were caused by the surgeon’s negligence.  During trial, the Plaintiff’s expert witness surgeon did not testify that the damages were caused by a breach of the standard of care.  At the close of the Plaintiff’s case, the court entered a directed verdict in favor of the defendant surgeon and dismissed the case.

  • Steve Scharnberg and Erik Bergeland successfully defended a summary judgment ruling on appeal.  At the trial court, the defendant hospital obtained summary judgment due to the plaintiff’s failure to file the case within two years of the death of her relative.  The plaintiff argued that the medical malpractice statute of limitations began to run at the time that the family knew the death was result of the medical treatment and did not begin to run on the date of death.  The Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment, holding that the statute and prior case law mandated that the statute of limitations began to run on the date of death.

  • Kevin Driscoll and Eric Hoch appeared in front of a special evening session of the Iowa Supreme Court for oral argument in the matter of Residents of Elsie Mason Manor et al. v. First Baptist Housing Foundation, et al.  The case involves the claimed uninhabitability of apartment units arising from bed bugs brought into apartment complexes.  The appeal was of the District Court’s certification of a class on uninhabitability claims, as well as sub-classes for claims based upon Iowa’s Private Right of Action for Consumer Frauds Act.  A KCCI news story and video can be seen here:

  • Jack Hilmes and Erik Bergeland successfully defended a physician at trial. The plaintiff alleged that she developed cervical cancer because her OB/GYN physician failed to perform appropriate testing and/or failed to ensure that the patient followed up after an abnormal pap smear. The jury found in favor of the defendant physician and awarded no damages.

  • Connie Diekema successfully defended a multi-specialty medical group at trial against several claims in a commercial dispute.  The Plaintiff was a former physician member of the group who alleged fraud, tortious interference with business relationships, and defamation after he was suspended and later terminated from the group.  The termination followed an investigation by the group into potential over-administration of procedures by the plaintiff physician.  At trial, the group conceded that the physician was owed an amount equal to his initial investment in a building purchase, however the jury awarded a smaller amount of the investment claim and awarded no damages for the fraud, tortious interference, and defamation claims.

  • Eric Hoch and Steve Scharnberg successfully defended an appeal involving claims of breach of implied warranty of workmanlike construction and negligence.  The Plaintiff homeowners association brought a case against several parties which included subcontractors.  The District Court granted summary judgment in favor of the subcontractors ruling that implied warranty claims are not actionable against subcontractors, and that the homeowners association’s negligence claim was precluded by the economic loss doctrine.  The Iowa Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court’s grant of summary judgment.

  • Eric Hoch successfully defended an appeal involving claims of false imprisonment against a hospital.  Tom Finley and Eric Hoch obtained summary judgment in favor of a hospital on a case involving claims of EMTALA violations and false imprisonment.  The case involved two foreign citizens who were treated and stabilized after being struck by a truck.  After the Plaintiffs dismissed their EMTALA claim, the District Court found that the actions of the hospital employees and other medical personnel in repatriating the two foreign citizens for further care and treatment in their homeland did not constitute false imprisonment.  The Iowa Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court.

  • Steve Scharnberg and Erik Bergeland successfully defended an appeal involving the statute of limitations in medical malpractice cases.  The Plaintiffs brought a case on behalf of a deceased child alleging that a physician failed to diagnose an illness, resulting in the death of the child.  The case was filed three years after the child’s death.  In holding that the “minor tolling provision” of the medical malpractice statute of limitations did not apply to the case, the Court of Appeals upheld the district court’s ruling and affirmed dismissal of the case.

  • Stacie Codr successfully defended an obstetrician gynecologist against allegations of medical malpractice.  The court dismissed the Plaintiff’s case afer determining that the Plaintiff did not have adequate proof necessary to establish a valid claim against the physician.

  • Kevin Driscoll and Jeff Craig obtained summary judgment in favor of a city attorney who had been sued by the city’s former clerk for malicious prosecution, false imprisonment and defamation.  The District Court found, based on a State of Iowa audit, that probable cause existed as a matter of law such that the city attorney’s actions in assisting in the investigation did not constitute malicious prosecution and the subsequent arrest of the plaintiff was legal.  Therefore, the city attorney did not engage in false imprisonment, and a qualified privileged protected the city attorney’s statements against plaintiff’s defamation claims.

  • Kevin Driscoll , Eric Hoch and Jeff Craig obtained summary judgment in favor of a law firm and debt collection agency against a lawsuit filed by a debtor alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.  In a thirty-five page opinion, Northern District of Iowa Senior Judge Donald E. O’Brien found that the law firm and debt collection agency were permitted to rely on a process server’s return-of-service as presumptively valid, and that their debt collection efforts did not constitute a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.  The District Court also found in favor of the debt collection agency despite its failure to provide notification to the Iowa Attorney General within thirty days after commencing business in the state.

  • Jack Hilmes and Erik Bergeland successfully represented an obstetrician gynecologist at trial.  The plaintiffs claimed that the physician’s failure to diagnose a young woman’s breast cancer resulted in her untimely death.  After seven days of trial, the defendant moved for directed verdict and the Court dismissed the case due to the Plaintiffs’ failure to establish any negligence on the part of the physician.

  • Eric Hoch successfully defended a dentist against allegations of dental malpractice.  The court dismissed the Plaintiff’s case after determining that the Plaintiff did not have the expert testimony required to establish a valid claim against the dentist.

  • Eric Hoch successfully defended an appeal to the Iowa Court of Appeals in a case involving claims of medical malpractice.  Tom Finley and Jack Hilmes obtained the underlying defense jury verdict in favor of two defendant physicians and a hospital  In affirming the defense jury verdict, the Iowa Court of Appeals rejected arguments that the jury verdict failed to administer substantial justice.

  • Steve Scharnberg and Eric Hoch successfully defended an appeal to the Iowa Supreme Court in a case involving claims of medical malpractice.  The appeal followed entry of summary judgment in favor of a defendant physician and health care organizations.  In affirming the entry of summary judgment which was based upon the application of a statute of repose, the Iowa Supreme Court rejected arguments that the doctrines of fraudulent concealment and the so-called continuum-of-negligent-treatment doctrine precluded the summary dismissal of the case.

  • Steve Scharnberg and Stacie Codr obtained summary judgment in favor of health system in a lawsuit involving claims of negligent spoliation of evidence and negligent misrepresentation in connection with the handling of patient records.  The United Stated District Court for the Southern District of Iowa concluded Iowa does not recognize a claim for negligent spoliation of evidence as an independent tort and determined the claim for negligent misrepresentation failed on multiple grounds.

  • Jack Hilmes and Erik Bergeland successfully defended an emergency room doctor and his practice group at trial.  The Plaintiffs claimed that the doctor caused the death of their family member by failing to properly treat him after a motorcycle accident.  The jury found that the doctor was not negligent and awarded no damages.

  • Tom Finley and Eric Hoch obtained summary judgment in favor of a hospital on a case involving claims of EMTALA violations and false imprisonment.  The case involved two foreign citizens who were treated and stabilized after being struck by a truck.  After the Plaintiffs dismissed their EMTALA claim, the District Court found that the actions of the hospital employees and other medical personnel in repatriating the two foreign citizens for further care and treatment in their homeland did not constitute false imprisonment.

  • Eric Hoch successfully defended an appeal to the Iowa Court of Appeals in a case involving claims of medical malpractice.  The appeal followed a defense verdict entered in favor of a health clinic and physician.  The Iowa Court of Appeals concluded that the evidence submitted at trial warranted submission of the case to the jury and further supported the unanimous defense verdict filed by the jury.  The underlying defense verdict was obtained by Connie Diekema.

  • Kermit Anderson and Stacie Codr successfully defended a continuing care retirement community against allegations of negligence, negligent misrepresentation, breach of contract, fraudulent misrepresentation and violation of Iowa Code Chapter 523D in a recent jury trial extending over two weeks.  The Court directed verdict on the negligence and negligent misrepresentation claims.  The jury found that defendants had not breached a contract, had not made fraudulent misrepresentations and did not violate Iowa Code Chapter 523D.

  • Jack Hilmes and Eric Hoch won the affirmance of the District Court’s entry of summary judgment on a negligent credentialing claim against a hospital.  The Iowa Supreme Court held that Iowa Code Section 147.135(2) provides a rule of inadmissibility for credentialing files that may not be waived.  The Iowa Supreme Court further held that the law of the case did not bar the hospital from objecting to the use of a physician’s credentialing file following a previous reversal and remand by the Iowa Supreme Court.

  • Connie Diekema succesfully defended a hospital against allegations of medical malpractice.  The Plaintiff claimed that she suffered a bowel perforation as a result of a nurse’s negligence.  The jury found that the nurse and hospital were not negligent and awarded no damages.

  • Steve Scharnberg and Eric Hoch obtained summary judgment in favor of a siding company against allegations of negligence and breach of implied warranty of workmanlike construction brought by a homeowner’s association.  The Court ruled that the negligence claim was barred by the economic loss doctrine and that the implied warranty of workmanlike construction was not recoverable against a subcontractor.

  • Kevin Driscoll and Robert Johnson recently obtained a summary judgment ruling in favor of the firm’s contractor client.  Senior Judge, Ronald E. Longstaff, of the Southern District of Iowa, ruled that the terms of an indemnity agreement were enforceable against a subcontractor for all damages and expenses even if caused by the contractor’s negligence and that the recently enacted Iowa Statute 537A.5, prohibiting such contracts applied prospectively only.

  • Jack Hilmes successfully defended an obstetrican gynecologist against allegations of medical malpractice.  The Plaintiff alleged that physician failed to recognize and treat an injury to the Plaintiff’s ureter while performing hysterectomy surgery.  The jury found that the physician was not negligent and awarded no damages.

  • Rick Harris and Erik Bergeland successfully represented a general surgeon against allegations of medical malpractice.  The Plaintiffs claimed that the surgeon failed to recognize an intra-operative bowel perforation during a gallbladder removal surgery.  The jury found that the surgeon was not negligent and awarded no damages.

  • Stacie Codr successfully defended a premises owner against allegations of negligence.  Plaintiff claimed ankle and back injuries after sustaining a fall.  The jury found the defendant premises owner was not at fault and awarded no damages.

  • Rick Harris and Erik Bergeland successfully represented a county hospital and its nursing staff against allegations of medical malpractice.  The Plaintiff claimed to have experienced a preventable complication arising out of preparation for a colonoscopy.  The jury found the hospital and nursing staff were not negligent.

  • Rick Harris and Erik Bergeland successfully defended a community hospital against allegations of medical negligence.  The Plaintiff claimed that the physicians in the emergency department delivered substandard care and failed to prevent a stroke that occurred after the patient left the emergency department.  The jury found that the defendant hospital and its physicians were not negligent.

  • Stacie Codr and Connie Diekema successfully defended an appeal to the Iowa Supreme Court involving principles of comparative fault.  The appeal followed a defense verdict entered in favor of a hospital after a noncustodial mental health patient took her own life.  The Iowa Supreme Court considered whether Iowa’s comparative fault act permits a jury to compare the fault of a noncustodial suicide victim with the alleged negligence of the mental health professionals treating her.  The Court concluded a person owes a duty of self-care as an outpatient, and the district court committed no reversible error in allowing the jury to compare her fault.

  • Rick Harris and Tom Finley successfully defended two physicians and a community hospital against allegations of medical negligence.  The Plaintiffs claimed that the physicians improperly treated their fourteen year old daughter’s shiga toxin producing E. coli infection, which resulted in her death.  The jury found that the physicians were not negligent in their care and treatment of the patient.

  • Jack Hilmes and Tom Finley successfully defended a hospital and two physicians against allegations of medical negligence in their care and treatment of a patient with an extremely rare genetic metabolic disorder.  The Plaintiffs sought over $20,000,000 and claimed that the hospital and physicians were negligent in their care and treatment of the patient.  The jury returned a verdict in favor of the hospital and physicians, finding that they were not negligent in their care and treatment of the patient.

  • Rick Harris successfully defended an orthopedic surgeon against allegations of medical negligence.  The Plaintiff claimed that the physician was negligent in his performance of a total knee replacement surgery.  The jury returned a verdict in favor of the surgeon, finding that he was not negligent in his care and treatment of the patient.

  • Steve Scharnberg successfully represented a physician in a medical negligence action.  Plaintiffs claimed that the physician was negligent by failing to obtain informed consent and failing to discontinue a birth control device prior to and after surgical repair of an Achilles Tendon rupture.  The jury returned a verdict in favor of the physician, finding he was not negligent in his care and treatment of the patient.

  • Kevin Driscoll and Eric Hoch obtained a directed defense verdict on Plaintiffs’ claims of “lost opportunity”, emotional distress”, and other non-pecuniary damages in a legal malpractice trial.  The Plaintiffs’ claimed they received substandard legal advice resulting in deportation and return to their native country.  At the close of all evidence, the Court dismissed Plaintiff’s claims of “lost opportunity” to become a United States citizen.

  • Tom Finley and Erik Bergeland successfully defended a physician against allegations of medical malpractice.  The Plaintiff claimed she received substandard care while staying in the hospital, resulting in a stroke and other injuries.  The Court dismissed the Plaintiff’s case after determining that the Plaintiff’s expert’s testimony was insufficient to establish a valid claim against the physician and the hospital.

  • Connie Diekema successfully represented a physician against allegations of medical malpractice.  The Plaintiff claimed that an improperly performed circumcision resulted in excessive scarring.  Further that the physician had removed so little foreskin that another surgery was required.  The jury found the physician was not negligent.

  • Jack Hilmes successfully represented a physician against allegations of medical malpractice.  The Plaintiff claimed to have experienced a bowel perforation arising out of a colonoscopy.  The jury found the physician was not negligent.

  • Todd Gaffney successfully represented a regional trucking company in a lawsuit against one of its drivers.  The Plaintiff alleged the driver was negligent when he failed to avoid a collision with the Plaintiff’s vehicle that was traveling the wrong way on a two-lane highway.  The jury found that the Plaintiff was 90% at fault in the collision, and awarded no damages.

  • The District Court for Polk County found that an internal drug audit of a public hospital pharmacy, which was done for purposes of an investigation by the Iowa Board of Pharmacy, is a confidential document and not subject to disclosure under Iowa’s Open Records Act.  The Des Moines Register requested the audit, arguing that because the hospital is a government body, the audit was a “public record.”  The firm argued on behalf of the hospital that the investigative information of a licensing board, including the drug audit, is privileged and confidential under Iowa Code Section 272C.6(4).  The court found the audit is a confidential document, and the hospital did not violate the Open Records Act.

  • David Craig and Eric Hoch worked with Guthrie Center attorney Joel Baxter to secure an appellate victory on behalf of the ward and beneficiary in a conservatorship proceeding.  The District Court’s order approved conservator U.S. Bank’s recommendation to sell a concentrated position of stock.  The Iowa Court of Appeals reversed the District Court, in part, because the tax consequences of a sale of the stock during the ward’s lifetime would be unduly severe, and the risks associated with maintaining the high concentration were properly mitigated by other factors.

    In the Interest of the Guardianship and Conservatorship of John David Hatfield

  • In proceedings to reopen an estate, the Executor appealed from an interlocutory order in which the District Court determined that it was unnecessary for Petitioners to comply with the Hague Service Convention in serving process on the estate beneficiary residing in the Federal Republic of Germany.  The appeal involved the interplay of the Iowa Rules of Civil Procedure, the Hague Service Convention, and the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution.  After oral argument by Eric Hoch, the Iowa Supreme Court overruled the District Court, and ordered that the estate beneficiary be served in compliance with the requirements of the Hague Service Convention.

    In the Matter of the Estate of Clemens Graf Droste Zu Vischering, Deceased