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Erik Luthens

Erik Luthens

Iowa Supreme Court cases
  • Legal Malpractice, Medical Malpractice, Personal Injury...
  • Iowa
Claimed Lawyer ProfileQ&A

I primarily handle workers' compensation, personal injury, medical malpractice and legal malpractice claims (plaintiff only) and have been doing so since 1991 (B.S., University of Iowa, 1988; J.D., Drake Law, 1991).

I have been serving on the IAJ BOG from November, 2016 to date. I previously served on the Urbandale Little League board of directors for approximately ten years and have been a member of the YMCA's "President's Club" for approximately the past twelve years as well as a participant in its annual "Partner With Youth" campaign.

Practice Areas
  • Legal Malpractice
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Personal Injury
  • Workers' Compensation
Additional Practice Areas
  • Car Accidents
  • General Civil
  • Dramshop
  • Wrongful Death
  • Free Consultation
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Contingent Fees
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
  • Spanish: Written
Professional Experience
Iowa Supreme Court cases
Through my diligence, I was successful upon further review with the Iowa Supreme Court in requiring defendants who seek to assert failure to mitigate as an affirmative defense by establishing the same via expert testimony which previously was not required. (See Greenwood v. Mitchell, 621 N.W.2d 200 (2001)). I was also successful on further review with the Iowa Supreme Court in establishing favorable case law for plaintiffs involved in medical malpractice actions relative to the statute of limitations and a health care provider's failure to timely diagnose a medical condition. ( See Wilkins v. Marshalltown Medical and Surgical Center, 758 N.W.2d 232 (2008). Wilkins also established the theory of ostensible agency which holds hospitals and clinics who employ independent contractor physicians liable for the negligent physicians' acts despite the fact that the negligent physicians are not their employees. I recently prevailed on further review with the Iowa Supreme Court in expanding the scope of Iowa's dramshop law for plaintiffs who are injured by over-served bar patrons. (See Sanford v. Fillenwarth, 863 N.W.2d 286 (2015)).
Luthens Law Offices, P.C.
- Current
Drake University
J.D. (1991) | Law
University of Iowa
B.S. (1988) | Political Science
Activities: Pi Kappa Alpha
Professional Associations
Iowa Association for Justice (f/k/a Iowa Trial Lawyers Association)
- Current
Activities: I am also on the IAJ Board of Governors
American Association for Justice (f/k/a American Trial Lawyers Association)
- Current
Iowa State Bar
- Current
Articles & Publications
Iowa Supreme Court / Iowa Court of Appeals Cases
Sanford v. Fillenwarth, 863 N.W.2d 286 (2015)
Iowa Supreme Court
Wilkins v. Marshalltown Medical and Surgical Center, 758 N.W.2d 232 (2008)
Iowa Supreme Court
New v. Titan Tire Corp., WL 984730 (Iowa Ct. App. Aug. 29, 2001).
Iowa Court of Appeals
Greenwood v. Mitchell, 621 N.W.2d 200 (2001)
Iowa Supreme Court
Farm Bureau vs. Iowa District Court, Iowa Supreme Court File No. 99-1944 (Mar. 17, 2000).
Iowa Supreme Court
Blecher v. Iowa Bd. of Educational Examiners, WL 18849 (Iowa Ct. App. Jan. 12, 2000).
Iowa Court of Appeals
State v. Gordon, 560 N.W.2d 4 (1997)
Iowa Supreme Court
Websites & Blogs
Legal Answers
23 Questions Answered

Q. My fathers civil case trial in Iowa settled in Iowa, now can attorney get the percentage from texas no cap or iowas
A: It is unclear as to what you are asking. You need to schedule an appointment (do not randomly call on the telephone) with your attorney and have him or her fully explain what is happening in your case.
Q. I'm being sued by a bondsman for the defendant missing court on the 6th court date from being continued- any advice
A: Find the defendant ASAP.
Q. What kind of lawyer do I need if an inpatient mental health facility violated their policies?
A: Did you have a written agreement between the health care facility and you? If so, are the conditions / terms which you assert were violated specifically delineated in the agreement? How have you and / or your daughter been damaged by the health care facility’s breach of the agreement?
Q. i have been injured by a doctor doing a procedure on me.leg are weak,off balance,limp and fear because of what he did .
A: You should immediately schedule a consultation with the doctor in question to determine specifically as to what he / she did and whether you need any further medical treatment due to the "forceful chop."
Q. My husband was injured at work and is on workers cop. He has not been able to drive. Who should have to pay for a taxi?
A: The workers' compensation insurance carrier must pay for your husband's reasonable transportation expense of going to and returning from all medical appointments that are authorized by your husband's employer's workers' compensation insurance carrier. If you (or anybody other than a commercial service) transports your husband to and/or from these medical appointments, they should be reimbursed at the rate of $0.545 per mile (which is the rate effective July 1, 2018).
Q. I broke my ankle at work..hit by a fork lift. The company okd my surgery..but now my claim is and why?
A: An employer can deny responsibility for an alleged work related injury for many reasons including failure to timely receive notice of the injury; positive drug screen; a medical opinion disputing causal connection between the injury and work related activities.
Q. My husband had a workers comp lawsuit. It was settled out of court. Would there be a case number.
A: Yes. Contact: Iowa Workforce Development (Division of Worker's Compensation), 1000 E. Grand Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50319. Tel: (515) 725-4120
Q. Can I sue a hospital for misdiagnosing me and almost causing me to die?
A: The primary issues in any medical malpractice action are: (1) Did a health care provider (doctor, nurse, etc.) make a mistake (breach the standard of care owed to the patient)? (2) Did that mistake result in an injury to the patient? (3) What is the extent of the injury to the patient caused by the health care provider's mistake? In order to win a medical malpractice suit, you (as the patient) must have expert witness(es) who can do the following: (1) testify that the mistake made by the health care provider in question was in fact a breach in the standard of care of a health care provider in a similar situation (i.e., an emergency room physician); (2) testify that the mistake made by the health care provider in question caused an injury to the patient (you); and, (3) testify as to the extent of the injury to the patient (you) caused by the health care provider's mistake. In your particular situation, you must have expert witness testimony stating that had the health care provider in question not made a mistake (i.e., timely recognized and treated your condition), you would not have been in the hospital for eight days and/or it would not have taken you nearly two months to fully recover from your illness.
Q. I was a victim in a bank robbery and was assulted, later diagnosis with ptsd and had to leave my job can i sue the banks
A: If the bank failed to take reasonable precautions to make its premises relatively safe, then you might have a claim worth pursuing. A significant issue is whether the robbery in question was reasonably foreseeable by the bank.
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Contact & Map
1200 Valley West Drive
Ste. 304-01
West des Moines, IA 50266
Telephone: (515) 222-1697
Fax: (515) 222-2655