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Practice Areas

Personal Injury
Insurance Denials
Workers Compensation
Wills, Power of Attorneys, Probates

Personal Injury
Insurance Denials
Workers Compensation
Wills, Power of Attorneys, Probates


Women In Law
Second Circuit Bar
South Dakota State Bar
SD Trial Lawyers Assoc.

Licensed In

South Dakota
Federal District Court
Eight Circuit Court of Appeals
United States Supreme Court

South Dakota
Federal District Court
Eight Circuit Court of Appeals
United States Supreme Court

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Sometimes fairness and legality are not the same thing. We have a reputation for not only spotting laws that are unfair, but for doing something about them. We are very thankful to our numerous courageous clients who refused to accept unfair treatment and allowed us to seek justice on their behalf. Listed below are some of the more famous cases we've handled that have had a substantial impact on the laws that govern South Dakotans.

Waterman v. Morningside Manor

This worker's compensation case established that an amended complaint which asserts new or addition legal theories 'relates back' to the date the original complaint was filed so long as the original complaint informed the defendants of the facts which support the amended claims.

Voeller v. HSBC Card Services

This worker's compensation case established that when an employee dies within the course and scope of their employment and the cause of death is unexplained, South Dakota law presumes that the death arouse out of the employment unless the employer produces "substantial, credible evidence" as to what caused the employee's death. This case further established that a death is "unexplained" not only when the physical cause of death is unknown, but when there are no witnesses to prove the causal connection between the physical cause of death and the employment.

Kirlin v. Halverson

This assault case established that an employer may liable for an employee's intentional assault on a third person.

Sauder vs. Parkview Care Center and Travelers Insurance Companies and Berkley Administrators

This worker’s compensation case established that the South Dakota worker’s compensation two year statute of limitations (which commences on the date of denial of a claim) does not commence to run until a written denial is not only presented to the Claimant or her attorney but also is filed with the Department of Labor.

Lindner vs. Citibank, N.A. Short-Term Disability Plan, Citibank, N.A. Long-Term Disability Plan, CNA Insurance Company, and The Citibank, NA., U.S. Human Resources Committee, DCSD (unpublished).

This ERISA case established that ERISA preemption is not complete and that state laws “regulating the business of insurance” apply to any ERISA plan which is (1) insured or (2) in which any insurance function regulated under state law (per the McCarran Ferguson Act) is performed by someone or entity other than the plan itself.

Sopko vs. C&R Transfer Company, Inc. and Home Insurance Company

This worker's compensation case established that once an injury was deemed compensable no release or other device whether approved by the Department of Labor or not can eliminate the employee's continuing rights to benefits under SDCL 62-4-1 (continuing medicals) and SDCL 62-7-33 (the right to reopen for a substantial material change of physical condition.)

Austin Mutual Insurance Co. vs. King

This case established that injured persons in multi-victim accident cases are entitled to each receive at least up to the "per person" (rather than cumulatively up to the "per accident") limits of underinsured motorist coverage under South Dakota law. Credit goes also to co-counsel Jon Sogn.

Bowen vs. American Family Insurance Group

This case required insurance companies to pay their proportionate share of attorney's fees, sales tax, and costs when subrogation is collected by the plaintiff's lawyer and reaffirmed the principle that personal injury causes of action are nonseverable.

Bland vs. Davison County

This case established the right of a person injured on the highways due to ice and snow to bring to suit against a county highway department for negligent failure to maintain the highways. Credit goes also to co-counsels William F. Day, Jr. and Jon Sogn of Lynn, Jackson, Shultz and LeBrun.

Cozine vs. Midwest Coast Transport, Inc.

This worker's compensation case distinguished between "disability" (ie. loss of use) and "permanent partial medical impairment" and established the five elements of rehabilitation benefits and the requirement that an insurer pay for unauthorized medicals if medical treatment was improperly denied.

French vs. Dell Rapids Hospital

This case established an employee's cause of action for "wrongful hiring" (fraud and deceit in the inducement to enter into an employment relationship) and intentional infliction of severe emotional distress.

O'Neill vs. Blue Cross

This case mandated that group insurance policies provide coverage for newborn infants who are dependents of the insured irrespective of the family unit in which the infant is living.

Zeig vs. Dept of Labor

This case declared that a violation of due process occurs when a hearing examiner is not neutral and participates in investigation and prosecution of the case being decided.

204 South Main Avenue Sioux Falls, SD 57104 | 605.335.0001

204 South Main Avenue Sioux Falls, SD 57104