from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Robert B.
Lowery appeals the denial of his motion for additur.
Alfredo Parrish of Parrish Kruidenier Dunn Boles Gribble
Gentry Brown & Bergmann, Des Moines, for appellant.
K. Green, West Des Moines, for appellee.
Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Potterfield and Tabor,
VAITHESWARAN, PRESIDING JUDGE.
Lowery was driving a vehicle insured by American Family
Mutual Insurance Company (American Family) when a motorist
rear-ended him. He sued and settled with the motorist. He
then sued American Family for underinsured motorist coverage.
awarded Lowery $69, 430.20 in damages-$16, 730.20 in past
medical expenses, $30, 000 in past pain and suffering, $2700
in future medical expenses, and $20, 000 in future pain and
suffering. Lowery filed a motion for additur seeking an
additional $10, 000 for future medical expenses and an
additional $25, 000 for future pain and suffering. The
district court denied the motion. The court reasoned as
Here, the jury's verdict award for future medical
expenses was well within the range of evidence. During the
trial, evidence was presented to the jury relating to the
costs for future medical expenses that Plaintiff may incur
throughout the rest of his life as a result of blood clots.
The jury was instructed on the average life span of a man the
same age as Plaintiff. However, the jury was also instructed
it may consider all other evidence presented, including
Plaintiff's health, habits, occupation, and lifestyle and
evidence was presented that Plaintiff had failed to actively
treat injuries suffered in the motor vehicle collision after
2014. The award of future medical expenses is adequate in
light of the evidence presented at trial. Plaintiff also
argues the jury's award for future pain and suffering is
inadequate based on the evidence presented concerning
Plaintiff's arthritis and the complications caused by the
blood thinner medication Plaintiff now takes. Yet, the jury
was also presented with evidence that indicated Plaintiff
returned to a baseline level of pain within six months of the
collision at issue. The jury could have reasonably awarded
Plaintiff for the increase in pain, without awarding
Plaintiff for the pre-existing pain caused by his arthritis.
The evidence presented at trial demonstrates the award for
future pain and suffering is within a reasonable range as
indicated by the evidence.
appeal, Lowery insists the damage award was inadequate.
See Iowa Iowa R. Civ. P. 1.1004(4) (stating a party
may file a motion for new trial where the verdict reflects
"[e]xcessive or inadequate damages appearing to have
been influenced by passion or prejudice"); see
also Iowa R. Civ. P. 1.1004(6) (stating a party may file
a new trial motion where "the verdict . . . is not
sustained by sufficient evidence"); Iowa R. Civ. P.
1.1010 (authorizing the court to permit a party to avoid a
new trial by agreeing to certain conditions, such as an
"increased judgment"). He points to blood clots he
acquired following the accident and asserts the cost of
ongoing treatment will exceed $2700 over his lifetime. He
also notes the arthritis medication he had been prescribed to
alleviate pain is contraindicated with the blood thinning
medication he takes to treat the clots, justifying a higher
future pain and suffering award. Our review of the district
court's ruling denying Lowery's motion for an
increased judgment or additur is for an abuse of discretion.
See Pexa v. Auto Owners Ins. Co., 686 N.W.2d 150,
162 (Iowa 2004).
discern no abuse. Lowery was seventy-one years old at the
time of the accident and seventy-four years old at the time
of trial. The jury received a mortality table indicating the
normal life expectancy of a seventy-four-year-old male was
10.78 years. Although the accident caused him to develop
blood clots, Lowery failed to report any blood-clot related
symptoms during a 2015 physical, and he did not seek
treatment in 2016 for injuries arising from the accident. As
for his pain, the jury award of $20, 000 for future pain and
suffering may have accounted for the fact that he was limited
to taking Tylenol, which a physician agreed was not as
effective as his arthritis medication. Although the jury
could have awarded more, the award was not "flagrantly .
. . inadequate, so out of reason so as to shock the
conscience, the result of passion or prejudice, or lacking in
evidentiary support" and "did not exceed the range
permitted by the evidence." See Stender v.
Blessum, 897 N.W.2d 491, 501, 517 (Iowa 2017).
affirm the district court's denial of ...