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Thompson v. Kaczinski

Iowa Supreme Court
774 N.W.2d 829 (Iowa 2009)



James Kaczinski and Michelle Lockwood (defendants) lived on property next to a road. They placed a disassembled trampoline in their yard, less than 40 feet from the road, for later disposal. The pieces of the trampoline were not secured in place. One evening, a storm with heavy winds blew the top of the trampoline into the middle of the road. The following day, Charles Thompson and his wife (plaintiffs) were driving along the road. Charles swerved to miss the trampoline top, lost control of his vehicle, and entered a ditch where the car rolled several times. The Thompsons filed suit against the defendants for negligence. The defendants moved for summary judgment and argued they owed no duty under the circumstances to the Thompsons because the risk that the trampoline top would move from their yard to the middle of the roadway was not foreseeable. The trial court granted the defendants’ motion, and the Thompsons appealed. The court of appeals affirmed the trial court’s ruling. The Iowa Supreme Court granted the Thompsons' application to review the matter.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Hecht, J.)

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