Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Boyer v. Iowa High School Athletic Association case brief

Boyer v. Iowa High School Athletic Association case brief summary
152 N.W.2d 293 (1967)

Defendant high school athletic association sought review of a decision the Cerro Gordo District Court (Iowa), which entered judgment for plaintiff spectator in her action. The spectator sustained injuries resulting when bleachers collapsed and sought damages under theories of negligence and res ipsa loquitur. The association argued that the res ipsa loquitur doctrine was inapplicable and also that certain jury instructions had been inappropriate.

A spectator was injured during a basketball game when the bleachers collapsed and brought an action against a high school athletic association. The trial court entered judgment on behalf of the spectator, and the court affirmed that decision.

  • The court noted that application of the res ipsa loquitur doctrine to this matter was appropriate because the association held exclusive control over the instrumentality and because the occurrence was in the ordinary course of things and would not have happened had reasonable care been exercised. 
  • Similarly, the court noted that the introduction of evidence of specific negligence did not deprive the spectator of the right to have the res ipsa loquitur doctrine submitted to the jury. 
  • Despite the association's protestations, the court found that the trial court properly allowed and refused tendered jury instructions, noting that such instructions should not have ordinarily called attention to testimony favorable to one party. 
  • Finally, the court found that the trial court's verdict was supported by sufficient evidence.
The court affirmed the trial court's entry of judgment for the spectator.

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