Partner Dave Schmitt successfully secured summary judgment dismissal in a crossing accident case in Iowa. The case involved an individual who ignored lowered crossing gates at an Iowa railroad crossing and ran across tracks when this individual was struck by the front corner of an oncoming train. Fortunately, the individual survived and quickly recovered from her physical injuries, although plaintiffs also claimed the individual suffered psychological, cognitive and behavioral difficulties as a result of the accident.

The Court agreed with our client’s arguments holding the individual was negligent as a matter of law under Iowa Code § 321.341(2) when the individual ignored the lowered crossing gate. It also held the individual was negligent as a matter of law for failing to look both ways for an oncoming train before attempting to cross the track. The Court stated the individual was a trespasser given video taken from the approaching train showed the individual was not on the paved crossing, but rather was running on ties and ballast at the time the individual ran into the path of the train. The Court concluded that the individual failed to act as a reasonable person of like age, intelligence and experience under similar circumstances as required by Iowa law. It therefore held the plaintiffs were barred from recovery under Iowa Code § 668.3 as a matter of law. The Court accordingly granted our client’s motion for summary judgment and dismissed plaintiffs’ action, with prejudice.