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Supreme Court Expected List

The Iowa Supreme Court expects to file opinions in three cases on Wednesday, June 30, 2021.

19–1954   Godfrey v. State

Defendants appeal from a district court judgment entered on a jury verdict awarding plaintiff $1,500,000 in damages on his claims alleging sexual orientation discrimination in violation of the Iowa Civil Rights Act and a constitutional tort claim.  Defendants contend the court erred: (1) in allowing the jury to decide claims that are not actionable and were unsupported by substantial evidence; (2) by allowing improper evidence to establish discriminatory motive, such as the defendant’s public-policy views; (3) in submitting misleading and confusing jury instructions which misstated the law; (4) by allowing plaintiff to present evidence of emotional distress after refusing to answer deposition questions about his medical condition, and by precluding defendants from presenting evidence regarding plaintiff’s medical condition; (5) in declining to grant defendants a new trial because of an excessive award for emotional distress damages; and (6) in pressuring defendants to consent to a change of venue. 

20–0343   Lukken v. Fleischer

Plaintiff in negligence action to recover for injuries he sustained in a zip line accident appeals from the summary judgments entered in favor of defendants.  Plaintiff contends the district court erred in: (1) finding the installation of a new zip line braking system was a superseding cause of his injuries, relieving defendant Challenge Quest from liability; (2) finding Challenge Quest owed him no duty; (3) finding there were no issues of material fact as to his negligence claim against Challenge Quest; (4) failing to address an issue of gross negligence presented in the Mt. Crescent defendants’ motion for summary judgment; (5) finding the waiver of liability signed by plaintiff was not contrary to statutory purpose and public policy; and (6) failing to view the evidence in the light most favorable to plaintiff.    

20–0804   Planned Parenthood v. Reynolds

Respondents appeal from a district court order granting petitioner’s motion for summary judgment and enjoining as unconstitutional recent legislation which placed restrictions on eligibility for funds from two grant programs, the Community Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program (CAPP), and the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP).  See 2019 Iowa Acts ch. 85, §§ 99, 100.  Respondent contends the court erred in finding the statute violates equal protection by excluding abortion providers like petitioner from eligibility for the grant funds.  

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