Iowa Farms Can Be Liable

| February 15, 2013
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Supreme Court says farmers who host educational tours are not shielded from personal injury lawsuits under Iowa’s recreational use law.

The court ruled 5-2 on Friday that the owners of a dairy farm can be sued by a chaperon injured when she fell through a hole in a hayloft during a kindergarten class field trip.

The Iowa Farm Bureau had warned that allowing farmers to face liability would jeopardize tours that teach children about animals and farming. The group says farmers may no longer host such events if they’re worried about lawsuits.

At issue is a law that bars injury lawsuits against landowners who open their land for public recreational uses such as snowmobiling and hunting. The court says playing on a hayloft in a barn doesn’t qualify.

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