Three Million Dollar Gross Negligence Verdict

Vinton, Benton County, Iowa.

Cory F. Gourley was part of a legal team representing the family of a young man who was killed in a tragic mining accident.  The extraordinarily difficult part of such cases is that injured individuals, and even families of those who are killed in workplace accidents, generally have no recourse against their negligent employer, other than the limited recovery available through worker’s compensation claims. The primary exception however, is if a worker’s superior and/or co-worker acted in a grossly negligent manner.  Unfortunately for Iowans, the law surrounding such claims makes it extremely difficult to prevail on these cases.

In this case, the defense was so assured of its inevitable victory, it offered less than $100,000 to settle the case. prior to trial.  Moreover, the defense filed seven motions to have the case thrown out, on all of which Plaintiffs prevailed. Finally, after years of litigation and an almost two-week trial, the jury came back with its resounding judgment of the mining company supervisors’ actions: a $3,000,0000 collective verdict for the family of the deceased miner.

Iowa juries are amazing collections of human beings in our state.  And despite big companies and insurance companies doing everything in their power to prevent Iowa families from access to justice, and extraordinary legal team that included GRL’s wrongful death division was able to hold the mining company and its insurance company accountable.