Heidman Law Firm

Jeff W. Wright And Joel D. Vos. Obtain Favorable Appellate Ruling

September 1, 2015

Heidman Law Firm attorneys obtained a favorable appellate ruling for their client, Siouxland Obstetrics & Gynecology, Inc. The medical practice had been sued by Dr. Edward Hagen, after he was terminated by the practice. The District Court had instructed the jury on the elements of the Iowa tort for at-will wrongful discharge, and the jury awarded Hagen damages of $1.05 million. On appeal, the Eighth Circuit reversed, finding in an August 20, 2015 opinion authored by Chief Judge James B. Loken that Dr. Hagen was not an at-will employee allowed to sue for wrongful discharge under Iowa law. The Eighth Circuit determined that Dr. Hagen was an employee with a written employment contract, and reasoned that he was limited to a claim for breach of contract. While Dr. Hagen had plead a breach of contract count, he had voluntarily dismissed that cause of action shortly before trial. As a result, the Eighth Circuit reversed the jury award and remanded the case with instructions to enter judgment in favor of the defendant medical practice. Siouxland Obstetrics & Gynecology was represented on appeal by Jeff W. Wright and Joel D. Vos.    

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