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Joni L. Ploeger

Joni represents employers, insurers, self-insureds, and third-party administrators in their workers’ compensation matters.  She has represented small businesses and Fortune 500 companies. 

She represents her clients in all phases of a workers’ compensation claim from the first report of injury and compensability decisions, to risk assessment, arbitration hearings before the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner, and appeals before the Iowa district courts and appellate courts.  Her experience includes handling pre-litigation matters, pleadings, motions, and discovery, as well as conducting depositions, doctor conferences, and hearings.  She has experience performing post-hearing matters, intra-agency appeals, judicial review matters, and appellate briefs and oral arguments before the Iowa Court of Appeals and Iowa Supreme Court.  

Prior to joining Davis Brown, Joni had six years of experience managing workers’ compensation defense and claimant cases, as well as civil matters.  She has worked on workers’ compensation cases involving complex medical issues, including scheduled member, body as a whole, cardiovascular, occupational hearing loss, and mental claims.  Her practice involves interpreting medical evidence and assessing claims based on impairment ratings, permanent restrictions, return to work issues, and other industrial disability factors.  Because of her representations of both claimants and employers, Joni understands workers’ compensation cases from different sides and perspectives, giving her a unique and highly effective approach to her law practice.  

Joni’s objective is to help her clients minimize risk and achieve their goals, so she also advises clients when their trial risk is high and settling is a better option.  She has experience mediating cases to a successful resolution and she advises clients throughout the settlement negotiation and finalization process. 


Over the course of her workers’ compensation career, Joni has:

  • Obtained defense verdicts on alternate medical care matters and allegations of First Report of Injury violations.
  • Obtained defense rulings on motions to compel discovery of social media information and attendance at independent medical examinations.
  • Prepared the post-hearing brief on a case that involved a statute of limitations defense, which resulted in a defense verdict based on that defense.  A favorable decision was also obtained at the district court level with additional briefing and arguments. 
  • Handled appellate work resulting in a favorable decision from the Iowa Court of Appeals upholding the legal standard for review-reopening cases.