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A child's contributory negligence, where it is not the sole proximate cause of his injury, is not a defense to a parental claim under Iowa R. Civ. P. 8 for the expense and actual loss of services, companionship and society resulting from injury to or death of the child.
After sustaining injuries from a motorcycle collision with a vehicle operated by the driver, the injured son brought an action against defendants for negligence, and the parent filed a claim for medical expenses and loss of services, companionship, and society under Iowa R. Civ. P. 8. A jury returned a verdict for defendants on both claims, and the parent sought review. On appeal, the parent contended that the trial court erred in instructing the jury that the defense of contributory negligence was not only good against the injured son's claim but against the parent's claim as well.
Was the son’s contributory negligence a defense to the parent’s claim against the defendants?
The court held that the injured son's contributory negligence, where it was not the sole proximate cause of his injury, was not a defense to the parent's claim under Rule 8. The fact that the rule of contributory negligence was followed because it was well settled was an insufficient reason to apply the rule to the facts before the trial court. The court reversed the judgment and remanded the matter for a new trial because the application of the defense of contributory negligence to the parent's claim was insupportable in reason and in fact.