Decisions
This section of the Web Site contains opinions selected by individual Judges for posting and is not intended to constitute a complete set of opinions for the district or any Judge. The decisions are organized by categories listed on the lower left portion of this page. If you would like to do a word search of the entire database or individual categories you may do so by clicking on the search button below.


Case NameDate Filed
-Navrude v. The United States of America (USPS) (Order on discovery motions. Discusses whena treating physician is subject to expert witness disclosure requirements of Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(a)(2)(B).)02/12/2003
-United States v. Ketzeback (R&R recommending defendant's motion to suppress be granted due to officers' reckless or intentional omission from search warrant application of information impacting informant's credibility. Issues: requirements for Franks hearing; reliance on confidential or anonymous informants; Leon analysis)02/10/2003
-U.S. v. Wade Wilson; motion to suppress evidence seized during traffic stop; officers followed defendant’s vehicle after he stopped briefly at an apartment building where officers were about to execute a search warrant; officers initially pulled over defendant’s vehicle because valid registration not displayed; officers saw proper registration tag as they approached the vehicle; analysis of whether: (1) search warrant authorizing the search of “all vehicles registered to anyone known to reside at [an apartment]" of a multi-unit building is unconstitutional; (2) probable cause dissipated once officer saw registration tag; (3) leaving multi-unit apartment building where one apartment unit is a suspected crack house, with no other suspicious circumstances, constitutes reasonable suspicion; (4) consent removed taint of unlawful detention 02/07/2003
-Joens v. John Morrell & Co. (Sexual harassment, disparate treatment based on sex, and retaliation claims pursuant to Title VII; defendant’s motion for summary judgment: sexual harassment claim: sufficiency of evidence of gender-neutral comments to generate a genuine issue of material fact on sexual harassment, whether harassment affected a term or condition of employment based on severity and prevasiveness, whether the alleged harasser was a supervisor" or "co-worker" for purposes of employer liability based on his status as "a foreman," what notice is sufficient to inform employer that alleged harassment is "based on sex"; disparate treatment and retaliation claims: whether an overtime disparity constitutes "adverse employment action," and sufficient of evidence to generate a genuine issue of material fact on discriminatory or retaliatory animus)02/07/2003
-Wells Dairy, Inc. v. Travelers Indemnity Company of Illinois, et al. (Commercial litigation; diversity action; cross-motions for partial summary judgment; motion to strike affidavit filed in support of motion for partial summary judgment; appeal of magistrate judge’s decision denying motion to stay; review of standards for construing terms in an insurance contract; review of insurer’s duty to defend its insured; analysis of whether claims had been asserted against the insured for "property damage," as defined in a commercial general liability policy and a commercial excess insurance policy; analysis of insured’s first-party bad faith claim and review of whether insurer’s denial of coverage and refusal to defend insured was fairly debatable; analysis of whether two defendant insurance companies were properly named as defendants in case when neither defendant issued either policy at issue in the litigation; analysis of the appropriateness of staying declaratory relief action concerning insurance coverage pending resolution of the underlying state cases.)01/31/2003
-dePape v. Trinity Health Systems et al. (Bench trial; foreign physician (Canadian) contracted with defendants Trinity and Trimark to be family physician, Trinity retained an out-of-state law firm to represent physician in his immigration to United States; law firm never contacted physician or explained immigration process; physician showed up at United States border ready to begin his new life and career in the United States, but because his position did not match the position described in the INS application, INS denied his entry and physician was unable to gain entry to U.S.; physician sued Trinity and Trimark under theories of contract and promissory estoppel, but there was no basis in fact or law to hold these defendants liable; law firm, however, breached its duty to advise and communicate with the plaintiff; the law firm’s breach caused the plaintiff to forego employment options in Canada; court awarded $278,736.20, plus pre-judgment interest, for lost income and emotional distress damages.)01/20/2003
-United States v. Mansker (Renewed motion for sanctions and post-trial motion for judgment of acquittal and post-trial motion for new trial. Defendant convicted of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine; government failed to turn over exculpatory materials and court excluded three witnesses at trial as a sanction; on renewed motion, court affirmed its ruling that government committed a Brady and discovery rule violation, but declined defendant’s request for dismissal with prejudice as sanction, finding that exclusion of witnesses was adequate sanction; denial of motion for judgment of acquittal because testimony of government’s cooperating witnesses sufficient to convict, especially in conjunction with defendant’s own testimony, in which he testified to sharing methamphetamine with friends; and denial of motion for new trial, finding that case presented close call because sole evidence against defendant government presented was testimony of government’s 6 cooperating witnesses.)01/20/2003
-Junker v. Amana Company L.P. a/k/a Amana Refrigeration; Order on summary judgment; plaintiff was terminated by Amana, argued that Amana violated FMLA by terminating employment due to alleged failure to follow Amana's medical leave policies and procedures; analysis of duty of employee under FMLA to notify employer of the need to take medical leave and to extend medical leave; breach of contract claim alleging the terms of Amana's employment manual and employment policies constitututed an enforceable contract and Amana breached this contract due to its termination of plaintiff's employment in violation of public policy and the terms of the contract; analysis of viability of state law breach of contract claim where employee's union is party to collective bargaining agreement with employer; whether such claim is preempted by Section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act01/08/2003
-McGuire v. Davidson Mfg Corp. and Louisville Ladder Group LLC (Order granting in part, denying in part, motion to exclude expert testimony in diversity action. Analysis focuses on Daubert and Kumho Tire standards, with citations to numerous Eighth Circuit and other federal cases. Discussion of "differential analysis" methodology)01/08/2003
-U.S. v. Angela Johnson (death-penalty prosecution pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 848(e)(1)(A); ruling on defendant’s motion to declare death-penalty provisions of 21 U.S.C. § 848 unconstitutional)01/07/2003
-Catipovic v. Peoples Cmnty Health, et al (Order certifying the following questions to the Iowa Supreme Court: (1) Is a party who intentionally interferes with the performance of a contract entitled to seek contribution from other parties who allegedly participated in the intentional interference with the performance of the contract? (2) Is a party who intentionally inteferees with the performance of a contract entitled to seek contribution from other parties who allegedly are liable to the injured party for the same damages caused by the first party's intentional interference with the performance of the contract, but who did not act intentionally? (3) If a party who intentionally interferes with the performance of a contract is entitled to seek contribution from other parties who allegedly are liable to the injured party for the same damages caused by the first party's intentional interference with the performance of the contract, is the party seeking contribution prohibited from seeking contribution against a party who has been discharged from liability to the plaintiff by settlement?)01/06/2003