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Recent Blog Posts

Failure to Wear Seat Belts: Proposed Legislation and the 5% Cap on Comparative Fault in Iowa

In a cause of action brought to recover damages arising out of the ownership or operation of a motor vehicle, the failure to wear a seatbelt or safety harness by the plaintiff will not be considered evidence of comparative fault per Iowa Code § 668.3(1).  See Iowa Code § 321.445 (4)(b) (2013).  This evidence may […]

Changing Trends in Alimony and the Impact on Iowa Law (Part 2)

In Iowa, there are three types of spousal support that the court can award: traditional support, rehabilitative support, or reimbursement support. Traditional support is long-term, sometimes permanent, and is meant to support an ex-spouse for as long as they are dependent or incapable of self-support. In re Marriage of Schenkelberg, 824 N.W.2d 481, 487 (Iowa […]

Changing Trends in Alimony and the Impact on Iowa Law (Part 1)

In recent years, legislatures across the country have been faced with a rising call for change in alimony laws. Approximately 420,000 Americans receive some type of alimony, but, increasingly, both men and women are pushing back against the assumption of permanent alimony following a divorce. Luscombe, Belinda. The End of Alimony, TIME Magazine, vol. 181, […]

Further Defining of “Suitable Work” in Iowa Code 85.33(3) for Temporary Partially Disabled Workers

Iowa Code Section 85.33(3) directs that if an employee is temporarily or partially disabled and the employer offers him suitable work consistent with the employee’s disability, the employee must accept the work to receive temporary work comp benefits.  If the employee refuses to accept the work, the employee will no longer receive benefits during the […]

Exceptional is Not So Uncommon: A Review of Duty of Care for Negligence Findings Post-Thompson v. Kaczinski

The Iowa Supreme Court stated in Thompson v. Kaczinski, 774 N.W.2d 829 (Iowa 2009) (hereinafter Thompson), that “the general duty of reasonable care [for negligence] will apply in most cases, and thus courts can rely directly on § 6 and need not refer to duty on a case-by-case basis.”  774 N.W.2d at 834-835 (citing Restatement […]

Supreme Court Defense Ruling

On February 1, 2013, the Iowa Supreme Court entered its opinion in the case of Boelman v. Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Co. (No. 11-0570).  Boelman was a farmer whose operations included contract-feeding nursery hogs for others.  Boelman had obtained insurance which was reinsured by Grinnell Mutual.  Several of the hogs involved in the operation suffocated when […]

Survey of Recent Work Comp Decisisons – Back Injuries with Surgery and Return to Job

Cozad v. Russell Corporation; File Number 5015753 (7/26/12): 41 yr. old high school graduate with some community college classes; prior work experience includes food service, road construction, press operator, clerical, telemarketer, and factory work;  began working for Russell in 1998; has pre-existing back injuries but 2004 back injury includes consistent pain and a “popping” of […]

Survey of Recent Work Comp Decisisons – Shoulder Injuries with Surgery and Loss of Job

Cummings v. Care Initiatives; File Numbers 5036558; 5036559 (8/10/12): 32 yr. old high school graduate; CNA certificate; prior work experience included daycare, management, factory work; worked for the nursing home from July 2009 thru October 2010; originally injured left shoulder in March 2010; medical evidence does not document any treatment until June 2010 when Claimant […]

Patterson Law Firm Supports Des Moines Playhouse and Hollywood Halloween

Patterson Law Firm is proud to be a supporter of the Des Moines Playhouse by being a corporate sponsor of the Hollywood Halloween event.  Reserve your tickets today to join us on 10/26/12.

Workers’ Compensation Healing Periods

Healing periods are no longer limited to one-per-injury. The Iowa Supreme Court’s ruling in Waldinger Corp. v. Mettler earlier this summer expanded the possibility of healing periods and an employer’s responsibility of compensation during such time. 817 N.W.2d 1 (Iowa 2012). The case found Mettler able to recover healing period benefits under Iowa Code §85.34(1) […]