Failure to Wear Seat Belts: Proposed Legislation and the 5% Cap on Comparative Fault in Iowa
(1) there was something the plaintiff could have done to mitigate his loss, (2) requiring the plaintiff to do so was reasonable under the circumstances, (3) the plaintiff acted unreasonably in failing to undertake the mitigating activity, and (4) a causal connection exists between the plaintiff's failure to mitigate and the damages claimed. The defendant shoulders the burden of proving these four elements of the defense.Vasconez v. Mills, 651 N.W.2d 48, 53-54 (Iowa 2002) (citations omitted). Lastly, the potential reasoning behind the continued use of this statute, especially the 5% limitation; and the failure of H.S.B. 60 being adopted may be seen in Duntz v. Zeimet, 478 N.W.2d 635 (Iowa 1991) (hereinafter Zeimet). In Zeimet, the Iowa Supreme Court majority held “…without the five percent limitation in section 321.445(4)(b)(2), evidence of nonuse could actually prevent an otherwise innocent plaintiff from recovering anything.” 478 N.W.2d 635, 637 (citing Meyer v. City of Des Moines, 475 N.W.2d 181, 190 (Iowa 1991) (emphasis added)). The Court followed up by explaining that this limitation will ensure fairness within Iowa’s comparative fault statute. See Zeimet, 478 N.W.2d at 637. Finally, the Iowa Supreme Court held “that the statutory five percent limitation is not arbitrary but bears a rational relationship to a legitimate governmental interest and therefore does not offend equal protection.” Id.
Thank you. Your submission has been sent.
505 Fifth Avenue, Suite 729
Des Moines, Iowa 50309-2390
Patterson Law Firm, L.L.P. is located in Des Moines, IA and serves clients throughout Iowa.
Attorney Advertising. This website is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. [ Site Map ]
Martindale-Hubbell and martindale.com are registered trademarks; AV, BV, AV Preeminent and BV Distinguished are registered certification marks; Lawyers.com and the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rated Icon are service marks; and Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings are trademarks of MH Sub I, LLC, used under license. Other products and services may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies. Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC. All rights reserved.