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  • Posted on 9/2/2014 Favorable Ruling for Social Security Claimant Issued by the Seventh Circuit

    Judge Posner, writing for the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, ruled in favor of the plaintiff claiming Social Security benefits for her disability in Goins v. Colvin, No. 13-3729.  Krystal Goins, the plaintiff, filed for Supplemental Security Income and was denied by the Social Security's administrative law judge.  The ALJ concluded that the plaintiff was not a credible witness and that medical evidence did not support her claim of suffering from acute pain related to a herniated spinal disc.  She appealed this denial to the federal district court, where the denial was affirmed.  Plaintiff then appealed to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

    The lower courts based their decision on the lack of medical records between 1998, when an MRI first revealed the herniated disc, and 2007.  It is a common argument that when an injured person does not seek continual medical treatment, they are not as severely injured as they claim and should not receive the benefits requested, whether they are social security benefits or worker's compensation benefits.  Physicians used by the state agency in this case that was assisting the Social Security Administration concluded, based merely on reviewing medical records and/or interviewing the Plaintiff, that there was insufficient medical evidence to support the Plaintiff's claims of pain and inability to work.  However, they failed to point to specific medical records or evidence that supported their conclusions.  Judge Posner stated in his ruling that the reasons the ALJ gave for finding that Plaintiff exaggerated her pain were unsound.  Judge Posner set out the following conclusions, important to any disability case:

    1) The fact that someone works is not sufficient grounds for concluding that he or she is not disabled; many people continue to work out of necessity even through pain and conditions that would enable them to receive benefits.

    2) The fact that a claimant does not seek frequent medical treatment cannot be used against them to prove that their condition is not severe; people seeking social security benefits are generally low-income and cannot afford medical treatment and/or do not have health insurance.  Even treatment at low-income facilities require payment from patients.

    3) The consulting physicians for the state agency did not have sufficient medical evidence to give their conclusions that Plaintiff was not disabled; they did not examine the Plaintiff and were vague about what medical evidence actually did support their conclusions.

    In addition, the ALJ failed to consider a recent MRI from 2010 showing worsening disc disease.  The physicians also did not have this MRI to consult and could not therefore make an accurate conclusion as to Plaintiff's condition.  The ALJ and physicians did not believe Plaintiff to be credible, for no apparent reason, other than that a functional capacity evaluation showed she can perform some work while she testified that she cannot.  The ALJ therefore disregarded Plaintiff's testimony as not credible and ruled based on a belief that she was lying about her pain and ability to work.

    Judge Posner made a very pointed statement with this ruling, sending a message to agencies and administrative law judges, as well others involved in disability benefits lawsuits, that a claimant's testimony should be given great deference and not thrown out based on the biased belief that disability claimants are exaggerating their claims.

  • Posted on 9/1/2014 Who was the Jackson County driver?

    There is a pickup truck accident reported to be at 7455 67th Avenue Northeast of Baldwin on August 22, 2014 at about 6:32 PM in Jackson County. In the box for the driver’s name the report simply says, “Under investigation”. There are two people in the truck, a 63 year old man who died and a 31 year old man, in the report named as Dustin M. DeMoss of Monmouth, Iowa. Mr. DeMoss was seriously injured and was airlifted by air ambulance to the University of Iowa Hospital’s & Clinics. State Troopers do an excellent job of investigating car and truck accidents involving fatalities. The Iowa State Patrol accident investigators are trained and run a professional law enforcement agency. Until the full report is released we can’t know if both drivers were ejected from the vehicle or were thrown around the inside of the cab to such a degree that it was unclear.

    The Maquoketa Sentinel-Press news story shows the driver to be Donald Lloyd Morris, 63 of Davenport.

    “Morris dies in automobile crash

    A Davenport man was killed and a Monmouth resident was injured in a single-vehicle accident that occurred last week near Baldwin.

    Donald Lloyd Morris, 63, of Davenport died in the mishap and Dustin M. DeMoss, 31, of Monmouth received serious injuries.

    The accident occurred at 6:32 p.m. Friday, Aug. 22, at 7455 67th Ave., rural Baldwin. The location is approximately two miles northeast of Baldwin.”

    These make very interesting civil cases and there are many ways to get a pretty good idea of who was driving. The pre-accident evidence is extremely important and disappears as time goes on. Once the Troopers draw conclusions serious consequences flow including criminal charges along with civil penalties. If the troopers conclude one was the driver the insurance company can and usually will deny the claim against the driver, so an early investigation can make all the difference in the world.

    Several years ago I was called upon to represent a widow whose husband drove a semi-truck and he was killed in a multiple semi-truck collision in northern Wisconsin. By flying to the scene and conducting interviews I found a witness who helped everyone understand how the accident happened and was able to uncover an important detail. The detail involved a mechanic who removed and then marked the tires as to position on the vehicle.

    The mechanic who removed the front tires of the semi had mislabeled them and from that mistake the troopers concluded the semi had blown a tire, when in fact he had simply drifted across the center line. A blow tire makes a semi very difficult to control, but an overworked driver simply falls asleep. Had that fact remained unchallenged the widow’s negligence claim against the third party driver and company he worked for would have been lost. After the mechanic admitted his mistake the claim was able to proceed and concluded with a $650,000.00 settlement for the man’s estate.

    My point is a simple one. What personal injury lawyers do in learning their profession can be extremely important to people when it counts. Some people like to criticize personal injury lawyers and to malign us for what we do and say. But I never apologize for what I do as a professional because more times than not what I do makes the difference between people being treated fairly and receiving what they are entitled to under the law or having the insurance industry swat them out of the way like a bug on the windshield. I grew up without father. He died when I was just twelve. My mother was a widow and she never received a dime from anyone responsible. That was her choice, but her five children lived with the consequences of her very limited financial support that mending other peoples’ clothes provided. In life we had very narrow options. America has the best civil justice system in the world and it doesn’t have to be like it was for the five Lombardi children.

    What I do helps widows and orphans get a step up in life or helps normal working people try and get back to square one.

    For that I will never apologize. I wish you well and below you can read the ISP Preliminary Crash Report.

    Steve Lombardi

    Minimal Crash Report:

     Case Number:






     Crash Date:





     7455 67TH AVE NE OF BALDWIN


     Vehicle 1 Year:






     Towed By:


     Driver Name:




     City & State of Residence:



     Injury 1 Type:






     City & State of Residence:


     Seatbelt Use:


     Life saved by Seatbelt:


     Transported To:


     Transported By:



     Injury 2 Type:






     City & State of Residence:


     Seatbelt Use:


     Life saved by Seatbelt:


     Transported To:


     Transported By:



     Motor Carrier Info (IF Large truck is involved)

     Name of Carrier:


     DOT or MCC #:


     City & State of Carrier:


     Hazmat Involved?:












     Officer Name:




     Assisted By:

     ISP 288,399,349


  • Posted on 8/29/2014 Lefty-Righty Mistakes in Medicine - Why do wrong-site surgeries happen?

    Wrong-site surgery by Iowa physician

    A 49-year-old-Iowa-licensed physician practicing in the area of orthopedic surgery out of Davenport entered into a settlement agreement with the Iowa Board of Medicine. According to the IBM’s press release the physician inadvertently performed surgery on a patient’s left ankle rather than the right ankle. To the doctor’s credit he realized his mistake, informed the patient and their family after completing the unauthorized surgery. The doctor was fined a $2,500 civil penalty.

    So, in general, why or how does this happen?

    It could be several reasons although none are a good excuse.

    1. In a rush or working too much.

    2. Didn’t read the chart.

    3. Failed to use the time-out procedure.

    4. No one marked the surgical site.

    5. The surgeon fails to confirm the surgical site with the patient prior to starting.

    6. The surgical team failed to point out the doctor’s error.

    7. The surgical team including the doctor, did all of the above.

    8. Substance abuse could be an issue as well. 

    See what we have written about wrong-site surgeries. Link

    Contact Steve if you would like to discuss your wrong-site surgery; he's handled several over the past thirty plus years. Or if you are a physician and need assistance with your Iowa Board of Medicine citation we can help you. 

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

Straight talk when you need it most.

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 often are asked and these answers can all be found 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. 515-222-1110 or sdlombardi@aol.com. He looks forward to speaking with you.

Personal injury law is our business and for the past 30+ years Steve Lombardi has assisted hundreds of clients with personal injury. Clients come from all over Iowa, we do travel and have handled cases in most of Iowa's 99 counties. 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 telling you what you need to hear not 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 become devastating. 

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 seems 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 can help.  With over twenty-six years of experience representing civil trial clients in central Iowa, he knows the law and can achieve results for you.   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.  The doctors gave his father no real help.  For two years before his father’s death, they diagnosed a pulled muscle.  Before going to law school he had never been in a lawyer’s office, because his family couldn’t afford legal services.

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 just 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.

This week I'm stressing highway safety.  With the cold wintry weather there have been a lot of accidents, injuries and deaths on Interstate 80, 35, 235 and all the other highways in Iowa. I've been posting on some of them.

There are snow plows and Interstate Highway Workers out there and when you see one get over to the side, giving them plenty of room, stop and let them go by or get over and stay clear of the work area. Don’t challenge them or be impatient with these workers. They have a job to do and you challenging them for the road is going to get you no where fast. So back off and let those guys do their job.


Adventure Travel

The adventure travel business is big in the United States and for that matter all over the world.  In the year 2000 the estimated worldwide revenue was $154 billion and was growing at a 20% annual growth rate.  See Adventure Travel Industry Growth Statistics, Christina Heyniger, Xola Consulting. This industry is unregulated and the certifications the guides obtain are of limited comfort because the associations regulating those guiding services have no enforcement mechanism. The release documents the adventure travel customers sign completely relieves the guiding service of any wrongdoing these Generation X "kid" guides do on the trip. I've travelled all over the world and have some observations from my experience. I invite others to join in with comments and if you write to me I'll respect your privacy, if you want me to, and will use your experiences, both good and bad to make everyone aware of the pitfalls. So come join us with Adventure Travel.

Ag-Law Farm Accidents

Iowa farm families when suffering accidental injury can count on the Lombardi Law Firm to assist them in handling their insurance claims. If you need assistance with an insurance claim give us a call. We handle accidental rollover cases, highway collisions, injuries by equipment, grain dust cases, grain bin suffocation cases, explosions, burns from explosions and electric shock, electrocutions and chemical poisonings. If your accident isn't in this list, call us to see if we can assist you. For 30 years we've helped Iowans just like you to recover fairly. Call us at 515-222-1110 or write to Attorney Lombardi at sdlombardi@aol.com

Boating Accidents

Boating safety is a major concern for those who own or operate a boat on Iowa's lakes and rivers. On this site we focus on boating safety and how boaters get themselves in "hot water" with liability. If you're hurt while on the water you should immediately contact a quallified attorney and seek legal advice about how to gather and preserve the evidence you may later need to protect your rights.

Campus and School Accidents

Going to college is an exciting time in a young adult's life. But the college life is one where freedom causes those not yet ready for responsibility to experiment with the bounds of reason leading to unique ways people are injured. Join us at Lombardi Law Firm as we catalogue the university milieu and personal injury in America.

Car and Tractor Trailer Accidents

Although tractor trailers are a vital part of the American economy, their presence on the roads presents a significant problem while car drivers fail to respect them. The accidents are often severe, resulting in spilled products, bad wrecks, and possible death. If you are injured in an accident involving a tractor trailer along the highways of central Iowa, Steve Lombardi of the Lombardi Law Firm in Des Moines can help you handle these troubling times. Call 515.222.1110 for a free consultation.

Car Damage Property Accident Lawyer

With over 30 years of Iowa property damage and personal injury accident law we provide the law experience you need to maximize your personal injury recovery in any property damage case. If you have questions about property damage here are the answers to your questions. Due in part to the number of questions we get about property damage and how to settle the property claim after an accident the Lombardi Law Firm has created this page with a list of commonly asked questions. If your suit has significant personal injury or death claims we invite you to contact us about your case, but due to the time involved in answering questions (and the fact we still have to pay the bills around here) we do not allow non-client questions for just property damage. Clients may contact us at 515-222-1110 or 800-383-0331 or sdlombardi@aol.com.

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.

Construction Site Personal Injury Accidents

Construction Site Personal Injury Accidents - Despite attempts to improve safety at construction sites by updating the regulations about equipment and producing detailed safety information, construction sites remain one of the most dangerous workplaces. If you are injured while working on a construction site, contact personal injury attorney Steve Lombardi as soon as possible to help with getting the relief you’re owed.

Criminal Law

Criminal law in Iowa is an interesting exercise in police power and the State of Iowa flexing it's muscle to collect fines and police the state. If we can help you find the right legal counsel to defend you against criminal charges contact Attorney Steve Lombardi at sdlombardi@aol.com or 515-222-1110. 

Dog Bite Accident Lawyer

With over 30 years of Iowa personal injury accident law we provide the law experience you need to maximize your personal injury recovery in any dog bite case.

Drunk Driving Iowa Personal Injury Accidents

Drunk Driving, Alcohol and Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Accidents in Iowa

Guns & Handgun Rights

If you want to carry or (buy) acquire a handgun, rifle, or revolver and you’re running into obstacles, the Lombardi Law Firm is here to help.  Based in Polk County, Iowa, lawyers Steve Lombardi and Katrina Schaefer practice statewide and are prepared to guide you through the getting, keeping, or renewing your permit to acquire or permit to carry weapons. And if you are a gun owner and need legal help we are here to help you with your legal problems.

Here are some of the services we can provide:

  • We can help you apply for a permit to acquire.  If you don’t already have a permit to carry, then you need to get a permit to acquire if you want to get a pistol or revolver. This is a fairly simple process.
  • We can help you apply for a permit to carry.  If you want to carry a loaded firearm in public in Iowa, you need a permit to carry.   We can help you apply.  Need help becoming eligible?  We can help.  Need to know what rights your permit to carry gives you?  We can help you there too. We can also direct you to where to take the concealed or carry permit instruction course.
  • We can defend you if you’ve brought your gun somewhere you shouldn’t have.  Did you bring your gun into a business that has a policy against guns?  Are you facing a trespass charge for being ready to defend yourself?  Need to know whether your firearm needs to be concealed or whether you can carry it openly?   Come to us to and we can help you protect your gun rights.
  • We can help you if your permit has been denied, suspended or revoked.  Maybe you’ve run into trouble with the application process, or maybe you just received notice that an annual background check has placed your right to bear arms in danger.  You can appeal any decision to deny, suspend or revoke your permit to acquire or permit to carry.  And we can help.

Hip & Knee Implants

Hip and knee replacement devices have come under increasing scrutiny in the last few years, as manufacturers began to recall certain types of these implants. One type of hip implant, and perhaps the most controversial at this time, is called a metal-on-metal bearing. With knees we're starting to see Zimmer's NexGen CR-Flex Porous Femoral component product questions.

I-35 I-80 I-235 I-380 Collisions/Accidents

Interstate highways 80, 35 and 235 personal injury lawyer teams up with lawyers from Minnesota, Iowa, Oklahoma, Illinois, Texas and all other states to provide information to those injured or the families of those killed in accidents and crashes with semi-trucks, motorcycles, cars, SUV's, mini-vans and those working on the highways (State Troopers, highway workers, DOT maintenance workers and others. ) Contact any of these firms for assistance. Steve Lombardi, 1300 – 37th Street, Suite 6, West Des Moines, Iowa 50266 (515)222-1110.

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.

Motorcycle, Bike and ATV Accident Lawyer

With over 30 years of Iowa personal injury accident law we provide the law experience you need to maximize your personal injury recovery.

Lottery, Gaming and Games of Chance

Winning the Lottery is more than Just Dumb Luck. - You can’t win a lottery without turning in a ticket.

As much as you may want to think this is about fairness, it’s not; it’s about playing by the rules you agreed to when you bought a lottery ticket that is later picked as having the winning numbers.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking you won the lottery when you can’t produce the winning ticket. To win the lottery you have to do several things.

  1. Be old enough to legally play the game.
  2. Buy the winning ticket.
  3. Buy the ticket during the time period when the game is active.
  4. Possess the winning ticket. (Can be by gift or other legitimate means. Just not stolen.)
  5. Sign the winning ticket.
  6. Turn the ticket in by the deadline for validation.
  7. Actually turn the ticket into the Iowa lottery.
  8. Have the ticket be validated by the lottery’s machinery.
  9. Don’t engage in fraud or theft to possess the winning ticket.
  10. Don’t wait to turn in the winning ticket if the economy is in down market because the value of the winning prize will probably decline.

The Iowa Lottery recently had a drawing named Hot Lotto that was sold at a Des Moines convenience store with the winning number being drawn on December 29, 2010. That meant the winning number had to be turned in on or before December 29, 2011. It was, but barely.

Pedestrian Collisions Causing Injury and Death

Pedestrian accidents can have many causes. Pedestrian accidents are caused by inattentive drivers, crossing in the wrong place, listening to an iPod or other MP3 device, the weather or a whole assortment of other facts. Lombardi Law Firm explores the many facets of pedestrian accidents. Come join us. Clients may contact us at 515-222-1110 or sdlombardi@aol.com.

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.

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 sdlombardi@aol.com


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. 

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.

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.

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Steve Lombardi
Iowa civil trial, workers' compensation and personal injury lawyer