In February 2014, plaintiff and his wife visited an Iowa retail store. Upon entering the store, Plaintiff noticed the rug in the entryway “had large wrinkles maybe 2 to 3 inches tall.” Notwithstanding the condition of the rug, plaintiff attempted to walk across it. As he was doing so, he tripped over the wrinkled rug, allegedly resulting in injury. Plaintiff filed a petition alleging negligence on the part of the retail store. Defendant filed for summary judgment, arguing that, because plaintiff had knowledge of the wrinkled rug/dangerous condition, defendant had no duty to plaintiff and was not liable for his injuries. The district court agreed and granted summary judgment in favor of defendant.
Plaintiff appealed the district court’s finding, arguing that plaintiff’s knowledge of the hazardous condition did not in and of itself extinguish defendant’s duty to plaintiff. The appellate court agreed, holding that a danger that is “known and obvious” goes to the question of whether plaintiff was contributorily negligence, and “is not determinative of the landowner’s duty.” As a result, the district court’s grant of summary judgment was reversed, and the case was remanded for further proceedings.
Eurich v. Bass Pro Outdoor Word, L.L.C., et al., No. 17-0302 (Iowa Ct. App. November 8, 2017)