from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, John D.
appeals the district court's decision granting
defendants' motion for judgment notwithstanding the
verdict on the issue of future damages. Defendants
cross-appeal the court's denial of the motion as to
certain past medical expenses.
T. Rosenstiel and JohnPatrick Brown of Winstein, Kavensky
& Cunningham, LLC, Rock Island, Illinois, for appellant.
Zachary J. Hermsen and Bernard L. Spaeth Jr. of Whitfield
& Eddy, PLC, Des Moines, for appellees.
by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and Bower, JJ.
Holst appeals the district court's decision granting
defendants' motion for judgment notwithstanding the
verdict on the issue of future damages. Michael Stapleton and
Mansur Trucking, Inc., cross-appeal the court's denial of
the motion as to certain past medical expenses. We find Holst
did not present sufficient medical evidence to support a
claim for future pain and suffering or future loss of
function or sufficient evidence to come within the exception
to this requirement, and we affirm the court's grant of
judgment notwithstanding the verdict on this ground. On the
cross-appeal, we conclude the district court did not err in
finding there was substantial evidence of causation, so the
issue of past medical expenses was properly submitted to the
jury and the court did not err in denying defendants'
motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict on this
ground. We affirm the appeal and cross-appeal.
Background Facts & Proceedings
January 13, 2015, Holst was driving on the on-ramp to the
Centennial Bridge going from Davenport, Iowa, to Rock Island,
Illinois, when she was rear-ended by a hit-and-run driver,
which caused some scratches to her car. She testified she did
not feel injured from the accident. Holst called 911 and
stated she was told to remain where she was until police
officers arrived. She parked her car as far to the right side
of the road as she could and turned on her flashers.
Holst was waiting for police officers to arrive, Stapleton,
driving a tractor-trailer owned by Mansur Trucking, drove
onto the on-ramp. Stapleton attempted to drive around
Holst's vehicle but struck it. Holst testified the
collision caused "a big jolt." There was damage to
the rear driver's side of Holst's vehicle. Holst
stated she did not feel any injuries immediately after the
collision but by the next day she had pain and stiffness.
saw Ben Kolner, a physician's assistant, on January 16
and was evaluated for pain in her neck, back, hip, and
shoulder. She was "tearful and upset" during the
evaluation. Kolner told Holst she could "take a little
more" of her pre-existing prescriptions for Xanax and
Tramadol, gave her a prescription for a muscle relaxant, and
told her she could see a chiropractor if she wanted.
had previously been treated for neck and back problems and
had a history of anxiety. In 2004, she was in a car accident
and sought treatment for back pain, neck pain, neck
stiffness, arm and shoulder pain, and headaches. In 2006,
Holst was rear-ended, causing neck pain, back pain, back
stiffness, and head pain. In 2008, Holst began taking
medication for anxiety and depression. In 2012, she fell off
a ladder, causing back pain. Holst received treatment for
back and neck pain from 2006 through November 2014.
the accident in January 2015, Holst continued to receive
treatment for hip, back, and neck pain. She had an MRI in May
2015; Dr. Timothy Millea found "age-appropriate
degenerative changes" in her spine. Dr. Millea diagnosed
Holst with bursitis in her right hip. On June 8, 2015, Holst
told her primary care physician, Dr. Jennifer Aanestad, the
pain in her right hip had not resolved and this was different
than her back pain prior to the accident. Holst had physical
therapy for her hip from June to August. Holst periodically
received an injection for hip pain from Dr. Maruti Kari of
the QCB Pain Clinic.
December 17, 2015, Holst filed a petition against Stapleton
and Mansur Trucking, claiming their negligence caused her
damages. The case proceeded to a trial on May 1, 2017. Holst
presented the deposition testimony of Dr. Aanestad, as
Q. Based on your education, training, experience, treatment
of Ms. Holst and examination of her on [February 2, 2015, ]
and the history that she gave you, did you formulate a
diagnosis at that time?
A. I did.
Q. What was it?
A. Cervical strain, low-back pain, anxiety.
Q. And do you have an opinion, within a reasonable degree of
medical certainty, whether those conditions were caused or
aggravated by the motor vehicle collision?
A. Yes. I think they were aggravated by the motor vehicle
Dr. Aanestad examined Holst on June 8, 2015, and diagnosed
her with chronic right hip pain. In the deposition she
Q. Do you have an opinion, within a reasonable degree of
medical certainty, whether her hip pain as of that day [June
8, 2015] was caused or aggravated by the motor vehicle
collision with the semi?
A. I have to say she had not complained of hip pain prior,
so I would have to assume yes, because that had been an
asked if she was "currently treating [Holst] for any
conditions that were aggravated by the collision with the
semi," Dr. Aanestad stated, "I do," then
discussed Holst's anxiety, which she stated was
"worsened after the accident," and ...