A Decorah attorney involved in a record-breaking personal injury award in Howard County is hoping it wakes up insurance company executives in the state of Iowa.

The jury recently awarded nearly $1.6 million to Kelsey Bronner of Cresco, who was injured in a one-vehicle rollover accident April 30, 2008, while a passenger in a vehicle owned and insured by Reicks Farms Inc. of Cresco.

The lawsuit maintained the vehicle was negligently maintained and operated.
Bronner was represented by Nick Rowley, a partner at Trial Lawyers for Justice, a law firm headquartered in Decorah that also has offices in California. Other firm members, Rowley’s wife, Courtney Rowley, and Dominic Pechota, also were involved in trying the case. Rod Ritner, another attorney with Trial Lawyers, helped with jury selection.

Rowley said he believes the award is more than the attorney representing the Reicks’ insurance company, who offered a $220,0000 settlement when the trial date was set, expected.

“This was jaw dropping for the insurance company. I think it will have the impact of making insurance companies think a little harder about how they treat people in Iowa … insurance companies might start to value their losses a little better than they currently are,” he said.

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