The Iowa Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in three cases at Arrowwood Resort, 1405 Highway 71, Okoboji, on June 1, 2023, at 1:00 p.m. The hearings are open to the public and the court encourages people to attend.
The court will hear attorneys argue the cases of Timely Mission Nursing Home v. Kathy Arends, a Winnebago County case, Beth Avery v. Iowa Department of Health and Human Services, a Polk County case, and Jerry Vreeman v. Carl Jansma, a Sioux County case.
21-1852 Timely Mission Nursing Home v. Arends
Timely Mission Nursing Home sued the Estate of Darlene Weaver for unpaid residence fees. The Estate, in turn, claimed the nursing home was negligent in managing Weaver’s risk of falling, which resulted in a fall that led to Weaver’s death. In addition, the Estate claimed Weaver suffered verbal and physical abuse by one of the nursing home’s employees. The jury awarded the Estate $6 million, which included $2 million in punitive damages. On appeal, the nursing home contends the trial court allowed hearsay and other inadmissible evidence that was unfairly prejudicial.
22-1012 Avery v. Iowa DHHS
The Iowa Department of Health and Human Services was granted summary judgment on Beth Avery’s claims of discrimination based on sex or sexual-orientation. The district court concluded Avery had failed to generate material issues of fact as to whether the stated reason for Avery’s termination was pretextual and was actually motivated by discriminatory animus.
22-1365 Vreeman v. Jansma
Iowa Code section 673.2 (2020) provides immunity from liability to the owner of a domesticated animal for injuries to a “participant or spectator resulting from the inherent risks of a domesticated animal activity,” unless one of the listed exceptions is applicable. Jerry Vreeman sued Carl Jansma for damages after Vreeman’s leg was injured attempting to assist Jansma to upright a downed heifer at Jansma’s cattle feedlot. The district court granted Jansma summary judgment on the ground he was immune from liability under section 673.2. Vreeman claims Jansma is not entitled to immunity because the activity was not a “domesticated animal activity,” an exception applies, and the required notice was not posted.
The Iowa Court of Appeals is an intermediate appellate court. It reviews appeals from trial court decisions that have been transferred to the Court of Appeals by the Supreme Court. A decision of the Iowa Court of Appeals is final unless reviewed by the Iowa Supreme Court on grant of further review. Some opinions of the Iowa Court of Appeals are published and become precedent for subsequent cases. The majority of appeals filed in Iowa are decided by the Court of Appeals.
Appeals cases are a multi-judge review of a single judge’s decision. There are no jury members at these proceedings. Typically, the Court of Appeals decides cases with randomly selected panels that change in composition every three months. For more information about the Iowa Court of Appeals and the Iowa court system, visit the Iowa Judicial Branch website at https://www.iowacourts.gov/.
Note to news media
News media are invited to attend the oral arguments. Court rules apply regarding still camera, video camera, audio recording devices, and other electronic devices used during the oral arguments. Information on expanded media coverage is available on the Iowa Judicial Branch website at https://www.iowacourts.gov/newsroom/expanded-news-media-coverage/.
The Iowa Court Rules regarding cameras and other electronic devices in courtrooms are on the Iowa Legislature website at https://www.legis.iowa.gov/docs/ACO/CourtRulesChapter/04-30-2104.25.pdf.
For More Information:
Iowa Judicial Branch