Thank You For Submiting Feedback!
Recovery under a dramshop action pursuant to Iowa Code § 123.92 (1985) is denied for a police officer when the cause of action is based on the same conduct that initially created the need for the officer's presence in an official capacity. The class is very narrowly defined and the rule treats all members of the class equally.
Appellant police officer was called to the bar owners' facility after an intoxicated patron refused to leave the bar. The officer, when arresting the patron, was injured. He brought a dramshop action under Iowa Code § 123.92 (1985) against the bar owners, and the trial court granted the bar owners' motion for summary judgment based on the fireman's rule, which disallowed recovery where the injury was related to the reason the officer was called. Appellant challenged the decision.
Did the fireman’s rule preclude the appellant police officer’s recovery under the dramshop action?
On appeal, the court affirmed and held that it saw no new policy reasons to abandon the fireman's rule in dramshop actions. Further, there was no merit in the officer's assertion that the fireman's rule violated the Equal Protection clauses of the United States and Iowa Constitutions. The different treatment of the class of public safety officers was amply supported by reasons that promoted legitimate state interests and, thus, was not unconstitutional. Finally, the bar owners did not waive their rights under the fireman's rule by significantly enhancing the dangerous condition where they were not involved in subsequent acts of negligence or misconduct once the officer was on the scene.