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  • Posted on 8/23/2016 Iowa Law Severely Inhibits Competition among Health Care Providers

    Iowa requires physicians to apply for a Certificate of Need (CON) in order to open a new facility in which to perform medical procedures.  The issue is that the Health Facilities Council in charge of granting these certificates only does so if there is no other medical facility that offers the same services, or if the already-existing facility does not provide the service efficiently.  This knocks out many potentially new providers from opening facilities since most services are already provided in some fashion.  This erodes competition and prevents cost control on the services since ultimately only one provider is allowed to operate a facility that performs a certain type of medical procedure.  Only facilities that have less than $1.5 million in costs per year are able to escape the review and need for a CON to open the facility.  Providers like Dr. Lee Birchansky are thus unable to perform cataract surgeries in an already-existing facility, Fox Eye Laser and Cosmetic Institute, where he practiced for six years.  At that point, he decided to make a change in ownership and UnityPoint Health St. Luke's withdrew, leaving Dr. Birchansky to operate on his own and apply for a CON, which the state has denied four times.  The procedure would cost far less at the outpatient facility than it would in hospital, thus the argument that the CON prevents cost control due to the monopoly created in favor of large medical hospitals.  Governor Branstad is opposed to CONs and is among many that are trying to change the law to stop the requirement of obtaining a CON in order to perform medical procedures in outpatient facilities.

  • Posted on 8/20/2016 Lochte-Robbery Story Proves Why Hearsay Evidence is Not Admissible

    The Ryan Lochte robbery story has gone viral. And apparently most of what has been printed is not true. The robbery doesn’t appear to have ever occurred. But really it is a funny story about how the story spread and proves why hearsay evidence is not reliable.

    Here is what I think occurred: From what I have gathered Ryan Lochte was out for a night of carousing with his Olympic swimming buddies and someone appears to have damaged the wall of a restroom at a gas station. They probably punched the wall. No big deal right? Well it wasn’t at that point, but when Lochte next talked to his mother, Ileana he apparently didn’t tell her the story exactly as it happened.

    Allegedly, Ileana while in a cab told passengers her son, an Olympic swimmer, had been robbed. Another passenger asked if her son was Ryan Lochte which she confirmed. At that point this passenger Tweeted out that Ryan Lochte had been robbed at gun point by someone posing as a police officer. The Tweet went viral and news organizations fed off of the story. The police in Rio get involved and in the end the story appears to be nothing more than hearsay. The mother was not present at the event, does not have actual knowledge of the event and learned of it through someone else who is not present in the cab. 

    This is exactly why hearsay evidence is not admissible and is unreliable.

    Hearsay is an out of court statement, made in court, to prove the truth of the matter asserted. In other words, hearsay is evidence of a statement that was made other than by a witness while testifying at the hearing in question and that is offered to prove the truth of the matter stated.”

    Was there a robbery? Was Ryan Lochte robbed at gun point? The answer to these questions appears to be a resounding “NO”. So what is wrong with type of evidence? And why is evidence based on hearsay generally inadmissible in a court of law?

    Let’s start off with saying the cab is the courtroom. Ryan is the out-of-court witness who allegedly made this statement about being robbed. His mother is the witness and Ryan isn’t in the cab. The truth we are attempting to get at is whether Ryan Lochte was robbed at gunpoint.

    Hearsay evidence is "an out-of-court statement introduced to prove the truth of the matter asserted therein". In certain courts, hearsay evidence is inadmissible (the "Hearsay Evidence Rule") unless an exception to the Hearsay Rule applies.

    For example, to prove Tom was in town, the attorney asks a witness, "What did Susan tell you about Tom being in town?" Since the witness' answer will rely on an out-of-court statement that Susan made, Susan is not available for cross-examination, and it is to prove the truth that Tom was in town, it is hearsay. A justification for the objection is that the person who made the statement is not in court and thus is insulated from cross examination. Note, however, that if the attorney asking the same question is not trying to prove the truth of the assertion about Tom being in town but the fact that Susan said the specific words, it may be acceptable. For example, it would be acceptable to ask a witness what Susan told them about Tom in a defamation case against Susan because now the witness is asked about the opposing party's statement that constitutes a verbal act.

    The hearsay rule does not exclude the evidence if it is an operative fact. Language of commercial offer and acceptance is also admissible over a hearsay exception because the statements have independent legal significance.

    What do you think of Ryan Lochte's situation? It's actually sort of funny and proves the concept of why hearsay evidence is not admissible. Allegedly it starts out with him lying to his mother; who repeats the story in a cab as if it were fact, which is overheard by a "reporter" who then Tweets it. None of it appears to be true, but the story quickly spreads as if it were actual fact. 

    Ryan Steven Lochte is an American competitive swimmer and a 12-time Olympic medalist, which ranks him second in swimming behind Michael Phelps. His seven individual Olympic medals rank near the top in men's swimming.”

  • Posted on 8/19/2016 Hackers, Tesla Autopilot, and Increased Car Crashes

    Tesla has had its share of recent bad news due to crashes caused by faults with its autopilot system.  Although Tesla has stated that the issue is not with the system but with the users failing to properly maintian control of the car even when on autopilot, there are other concerns that may come about as the autopilot systems in vehicles advance technologically.  Recently Chinese researchers have confirmed that hackers may be able to break into the autopilot systems and make the system believe that obstacles are not actually present, causing crashes.  This could lead to an increase in crashes and fatalities associated with Tesla's autopilot system in the future.  While the system is touted as a way to prevent crashes and promote safer driving, with other car makers likely to follow suit with adding a similar system in the future, technology comes with its downsides and hacking is one of those that presents a real threat.  Drivers with autopilot systems should not ignore these concerns as technology becomes more sophisticated and the potential for crashes may not decrease as much as the manufacturers wish to believe.

Des Moines Accident Attorney Serving All of Iowa And Answering Questions About Personal Injury Accidents

Straight talk when you need it most because "There's nothing more thrilling than nailing an insurance company!"

Exploring Recent Personal Injury News From Around the State of Iowa

What's my case worth? What should I do right after the accident? Why is the case manager working against me? These are all questions we are often asked and the answers can be found right here at the Iowa Injury Law Center. If you have a question that isn't answered or just want to talk to a personal injury lawyer, contact Steve or Katrina by dialing 515-222-1110 or writing to [email protected] or [email protected] They look forward to speaking with you. googlee76264f2c0b96d5e.html

Personal injury law is our business and for the past 30+ years Steve Lombardi has assisted over two thousand clients with personal injury. Clients come from all over Iowa, we do travel and have handled cases in most of Iowa's 99 counties. Steve has handled cases in Montana, Nebraska, Minnesota, Missouri, California, Florida and Texas just to name a few. Let us help you or at least help you get to the right attorney. Currently the worst personal injury cases come from interstate highway accidents, drunk driving collisions, rollover accidents, work related injuries, explosions, electrocutions, falls and spinal chord injuries. We've handled most every type of personal injury case in Iowa and would like to evaluate your case. So call us before you talk with the insurance adjuster.  

Free Legal Questions  


We pride ourselves on telling you what you need to hear, not necessarily what you want to hear.

Accidents.  They happen anywhere, anytime.  You cut your finger with a knife in the kitchen.  You spill your morning cup of coffee.  You slip on a patch of ice and fall.  Accidents at home are painful and perhaps embarrassing but certainly manageable.  When they happen on the road or on the job, however, they can become a real challenge to putting food on the table and paying the bills. The insurance industry is not there to treat you fairly, because what is fair to you may not be considered fair to them and their insured. You need good representation; someone to help you understand how to win. Keep in mind the insurance industry wants you to lose.

Whether you’re involved in a serious car wreck, an accident with a truck, or hurt on the job, you’ll find yourself potentially out of work and out of money.  What if you lose your eyesight or a limb?  Your bills will pile up, especially those never ending medical bills that can result in your insurance company raising rates or worse yet, refusing to cover you.

Even though you’re the victim, it will seem as if nobody wants to help you and everyone who is supposed to be helping you, wants to blame you. Trying to handle the situation without professional assistance can be just as terrifying as the injury itself.  

At these times, personal injury attorney Steve Lombardi and Katrina Phillip can help.  With over thirty years of experience representing personal injury clients in central Iowa, Steve knows the law and can help you to achieve THE BEST result.   His practice includes personal injury cases; car, truck, motorcycle, and boat accidents; major injury cases including brain damage, loss of limbs, loss of eyesight, death and surgical cases; workers’ compensation; professional malpractice; and a limited number of divorce cases in which significant and valuable property must be divided.

Lombardi Law Firm is located in West Des Moines, Iowa, and serves clients from Polk, Dallas, Madison, Warren, Clarke, Cerro Gordo, Jasper, Linn, Wapello, Clinton, Scott, Pottawattamie, Muscatine, Lee, and Johnson counties, including accidents occurring along the interstate highways I-80, I-35, I-235, and I-380.

Steve Lombardi is the kind of lawyer who cares deeply about his clients.  Just like many of his clients, he too has experienced the breakdown of the health-care system.  When he was thirteen, his father died of lung cancer. For two years before his father’s death, the primary care physician diagnosed a pulled muscle. No x-ray was taken. Had this simple test been ordered the lung cancer may have been diagnosed and his life saved. He died two years after a specialist ordered an x-ray. Before going to law school he had never been in a lawyer’s office, because his family couldn’t afford legal services. Today he is there for his clients.

From those experiences, he draws a great desire to help his clients win their cases involving any type of malpractice, and serious injury, a desire to help his clients find some justice in an imperfect world.  He prides himself on always telling clients what they need to hear not just what they want to hear.

In the pursuit of justice, Steve Lombardi believes his clients are necessary partners in building the evidence that will be used in court:  active, responsive clients with some understanding of the process have the best chance of success.  He is passionate about the work he does and enjoys working closely with his clients to collect the evidence supported by the legal theory.  He believes there are no small issues in a case because every detail could turn a case in the client’s favor. 

Steve Lombardi works very hard to positively impact his clients’ lives.  And while he recognizes that not every case can be won, he simply hates to lose.  Justice delayed is justice denied. You can be sure Steve Lombardi will use all of the legal tools available to fight for you, and to win your case.

So call us and let us HELP YOU TO HELP YOURSELF!

Workers' Compensation

If an individual is injured while on the job, he or she is entitled to worker’s compensation to pay the medical expenses and help cover a percentage of lost pay from mandatory time off. Although the process is relatively simple, getting the full value of your claim is a time-consuming and potentially complicated issue.

Large Damage, Major-Serious Injury and Death Cases

Damage cases involing death, brain injury, traumatic head injury, spinal injuries, loss of a limb or eyesight or hearing. Most law firms shoe every horse that comes into the barn. We won't and don't. We say no to most cases. We say "yes" to large damage cases so we can focus on getting you the best result.

Property or Real Estate related Injuries leading to Serious Injury or Death

If you’re injury or death case happened (caused) on property (real estate) you need to get a qualified legal opinion that will result in a successful insurance claim and lawsuit settlement or verdict. You need a lawyer on your side that is licensed as a lawyer and licensed as a real estate broker. As a lawyer with a client, but who doesn’t practice in this area full time you need direction and a lawyer who can act as co-counsel. We handle referral work all over Iowa and pay thousands of dollars in referral fees to Iowa’s rural practice lawyers. If you’re not sure there is a case call or email Attorney Lombardi and find out; this consultation is usually free of charge. 515-222-1110 or [email protected]


Client Trial-Deposition Preparation

Lombardi Law Firm believes in trial preparation. We don't rely on luck to win your case. Instead we prepare you from the first moment we talk with you. What we do is listen to how you talk, think and most importantly answer questions. You can be successful if you are prepared correctly. Not all attorneys take the time to properly prepare their clients. We do.

OWI-CDL Lawyers

Without a CDL you can operate. As a truck driver in Iowa an OWI can cost you dearly. Call these OWI-CDL Lawyers for HELP.

Unemployment Benefits in Iowa

If you’re unemployed or partially unemployed and are looking for an attorney to help you get the unemployment compensation you need, the Lombardi Law Firm is here to help.  Based in Polk County, Iowa, lawyers Stephen Lombardi and Katrina Schaefer practice statewide and are prepared to guide you through the difficult process of getting unemployment insurance benefits.

Where can you find legal help with your Iowa unemployment insurance claim? The Lombardi Law Firm is here for you. Call Steve and Katrina at 515-222-1110. 

Professional Licensure Defense for Doctors, Dentists, Pharmacists, Nurse Practitioners and Nurses

We assist the medical, dental, pharmacist, nurses and veterinary professionals with defense in civil matters having to do with the Iowa Board of Medicine and all other licensing boards. Call for a consultation.

Whistleblowers / Financially Ripped Off?

Financial crime has increased in America. The amount of retirement funds saved along with government fostering a gambling mentality has creating an environment where greed seems acceptable. Working people, honest people, young adults and the elderly need to be on the lookout to save their hard earned savings and to protect their futures. Join us with the Lombardi Law Firm as we create depository of blog posts that are all about financial rip-off stories that are in the news.

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