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Virden v. Betts and Beer Construction Company

Iowa Supreme Court
656 N.W.2d 805 (Iowa 2003)


Ron Virden (plaintiff) was an employee in the maintenance department at Indianola High School. In early 1997, Betts and Beer Construction Company (Betts) (defendant) installed a ceiling in the school’s wrestling room. On the first day of school in 1997, Virden was asked by his supervisor to reinstall an angle iron that had fallen from the ceiling of the new wrestling room. While holding the angle iron in place, Virden fell off the top of his ladder and sustained severe injuries. Virden sued Betts for damages on the ground that the company negligently installed the wrestling room ceiling. At trial, the district court granted summary judgment for Betts, holding that the company’s negligence, if any, was not the proximate cause of Virden’s injuries. Virden appealed, and the court of appeals reversed. Betts appealed.

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