Monday, November 11, 2013

Van Camp v. McAfoos case brief

Van Camp v. McAfoos case brief summary
156 N.W.2d 878 (1968)

The Scott District Court (Iowa) granted a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim filed by appellees, parents and their child, in an action brought by appellant claimant against the appellees in which the claimant alleged appellee child caused the claimant injury when the child struck the claimant from behind while the child was riding a tricycle. The claimant appealed.


  • The claimant was struck and injured by a tricycle ridden by appellee child, who was three-years old at the time, and brought the current action accordingly. 
  • Claimant alleged that appellee parents gave the child control of a tricycle, knew the child was riding the tricycle on public sidewalks accompanied only by a babysitter, and that this alone created an unreasonable risk of harm. 
  • The claimant failed to allege fault of the accident at issue and did not claim that appellee parents were aware of any specific potential for accident or injury. 
  • Rather, she claimed she was injured while on the public sidewalk and that this, alone, was sufficient to state a claim for recovery. 
  • The trial court disagreed and dismissed the claimant's complaint.

On appeal, the court affirmed and held that liability did not attach unless it was somehow established, or at the very least plead, that the parents knew or should have known of some unusually dangerous activities or propensities of the child while riding the tricycle.


The court affirmed the trial court ruling because the claimant failed to establish that appellees were in any way at fault or negligent.

Suggested Study Aids For Tort Law

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