Stella Maris Strohman obtained a pre-answer dismissal for her client, an excavation company, sued for alleged damage to a gas main. Plaintiff filed suit on August 29, 2022, alleging Defendant struck and damaged a gas main on October 17, 2017. Plaintiff’s petition alleged that Defendant violated Iowa Code Chapter 480.4 by failing to give its One Iowa Call Locate Request at least forty-eight hours prior to commencement of the excavation.
Strohman moved to dismiss the claim arguing Plaintiff failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted because Iowa Code Chapter 480 does not expressly or impliedly provide for a private cause of action for monetary damages. She argued that Iowa Code Chapter 480 provides the attorney general with sole authority to initiate legal proceedings for a violation, and does not bestow the same power to private citizens. Furthermore, Iowa Code Chapter 480 does not provide for a money damage remedy based on tort for a violation of Iowa Code Chapter 480.4.
The trial court granted the pre-answer motion to dismiss ruling that the legislature did not expressly or impliedly provide for a private cause of action for a violation of Iowa Code Chapter 480.4. The statute of limitations has now expired on Plaintiff’s claim.
MidAmerican Energy Company v. Knife River Midwest, LLC dba Knife River, Woodbury County Case No. LACV204749