from the Iowa District Court for Story County, Kurt L. Wilke,
estate of Lucas Lodermeier appeals a directed verdict in a
legal-malpractice claim. AFFIRMED.
J. Zbaracki of Newbrough Law Firm, LLP, Ames, for appellant.
L. Brown and Tyler R. Smith of Hansen, McClintock &
Riley, Des Moines, for appellee.
Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Bower and McDonald, JJ.
estate of Lucas Lodermeier (Lodermeier) appeals a directed
verdict in a legal malpractice claim against John Timmons.
Because we find no evidence of the amount of collectability
against the initial defendant to support damages in the legal
malpractice claim, we affirm.
Background Facts and Proceedings
October 8, 2010, Lucas Lodermeier was injured in an accident
for which he was not at fault. Lodermeier suffered some
scrapes, and the other driver died. Lodermeier was reluctant
to return to truck driving and did not work for six months.
He met with attorney Timmons for representation in a suit to
recover for injuries arising from the accident.
October 9, 2012, Timmons advised Lodermeier by letter Timmons
had failed to file the lawsuit within the two-year statute of
limitations. On October 16, 2015, Lodermeier brought suit
against Timmons for legal malpractice.Lodermeier made no
discovery requests from Timmons.
trial was held December 5, 2017. Lodermeier presented
testimony from Lodermeier's widow, who had been engaged
to him at the time of the accident, the October 2012 letter
from Timmons, tax returns, and medical evaluations. At the
close of Lodermeier's case, Timmons moved for a directed
verdict claiming negligence, causation, and damages had not
been proven and there was no evidence of collectability. The
court dismissed the case finding "no evidence of
collectability of this claim against the initial
defendant." Lodermeier appeals.
Standard of Review
review a ruling on a motion for a directed verdict for
correction of errors at law." Stender v.
Blessum, 897 N.W.2d 491, 501 (Iowa 2017). "In
reviewing the grant of a motion for a directed verdict, the
court must determine whether reasonable minds could differ on
the issue presented; if so, the grant was
inappropriate." Royal Indem. Co. v. Factory Mut.
Ins. Co., 786 N.W.2d 839, 849 (Iowa 2010). "We
'view the evidence in the light most favorable to the
nonmoving party and take into consideration all reasonable
inferences that could be fairly made by the jury.'"
Ludman v. Davenport Assumption High Sch., 895 N.W.2d
902, 909 (Iowa 2017) (quoting Pavone v. Kirke, 801
N.W.2d 477, 487 (Iowa 2011)).