Articles Posted in Iowa

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By Thomas J. Duff, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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The Iowa Supreme Court recently handed down a decision that ruled that child injury waiver forms are not enforceable. The case involved a release form used for field trips in the Mid Prairie and Keota School Districts. The ruling makes sense as the use of these documents is really against the public policy. While a school is not liable for every single injury or unforeseeable event that takes place, a school or teacher should not be able to hide behind a blanket waiver form when there is an injury that was caused by negligence or inappropriate supervision. No form or document should give a school district or any other institution that cares for or educates children a free reign to cause injury without any consequences. You can read more about this story at Iowa Supreme Court Rules that Liability Waivers Are Unenforceable.

One thing is perfectly clear about liability waiver forms whether deemed invalid or valid in a particular state. Liability waiver forms do absolutely nothing to provide for the safety of children. Instead of spending time and effort to figure out a way to avoid liability, schools, day care center, and child care providers should spend the time and effort providing for the proper care, education, and supervision of children. This, in turn, will help avoid many child injuries and lessen supposed need of a liability waiver by the school or child care provider.

Published on:

By Thomas J. Duff, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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In Davenport, Iowa, two month old (Chase Kloppenberg) was taken off of life support at Iowa City Hospital according to Sergeant Frankie Wilson with the Davenport Police Department. Brian M. Fix, the mother’s boyfriend, has been charged with the crime of child endangerment causing serious injury. In criminal of this nature, the extent of the criminal charges could be amended in light of the fact that the child died.

Mr. Fix will be entitled to defend himself with the assistance of a public defender or a private criminal defense attorney. Medical evidence will be gathered and presented on a case of this nature as to the severity of the injuries and the probably cause of the injuries. Witness testimony will also be important in a case of this nature. Statements may include those from the mother, other relatives, and the Defendant.

The death of Chase Kloppenberg is certainly tragic for the family, friends, and the community. You can read more about this story at Iowa Toddler Dies After Alleged Assault.

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By Thomas J. Duff, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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In Coon Rapid, Iowa, a 16 year of boy (Casey Daniel Stork) died in an accident. Casey was the passenger in a Ford Escape SUV driven by another 16 year old – Daniel Kult. News report indicate that Daniel Kult was trying to pass another vehicle when he lost control of the vehicle, entered a ditch, and then rolled over several times before coming to a stop in the yard of a residence.

Details in the news report did not state the speed of the vehicle, the number of lanes, road or weather conditions, or the driving record or status of the driving license of the driver. It is a tragic loss for the family of Casey Daniel Stork to deal with such a death. You can read more about this story at Coon Rapids, Iowa Teen Dies in Rollover Automobile Accident.

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By Thomas J. Duff, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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In Iowa, child care centers / day care centers are regulated by the Iowa Administrative Code – Chapter 109 – Child Care Centers. The purpose of the rules and regulations is to establish minimum requirements for licensed child care centers and pre-schools. These standards cover areas from licensing to supervision to nutrition. It is important for Iowa child care centers that are licensed and subject to these rules and regulations to comply with Iowa law. Working parents in Iowa depend on child care centers to provide for the physical, emotional and educational welfare of children including infants, toddlers, pre-school, and school aged children.

Published on:

By Thomas J. Duff, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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As summer approaches, more and more children will be attending outdoor activities under the supervision of schools and child care providers. Parents and guardians are routinely required to sign permission slips before a child is allowed to go on a field trip to an amusement park or the local swimming pool. Does a permission slip signed by a parent make the school or child care provider not responsible for accidents and injuries?

The Iowa Supreme Court recently addressed this question in a case involving an 8 year old girl who was hit in the head by a flying baseball bat at a minor league baseball game. The girl’s parents signed a permission slip which said that the sponsor of the trip was not responsible for any injuries or accidents. The Iowa court found that the permission slip did not release the sponsor of the trip from liability. The Iowa Supreme Court issued this opinion gives parents and caregivers the ability to bring forth insurance claims and lawsuits even when permission slips or releases are signed. It is really against public policy and against the best safety interests of the child to allow negligent sponsors, businesses, and persons to act in a negligent manner, cause injuries, and then run away from liability for injuries caused to a child.

Published on:

By Thomas J. Duff, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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Deaths and injuries over a four year time period (2002 – 2006) across Iowa were studied by the Iowa Department of Public Health and the University of Iowa. This study revealed that over 1500 deaths in Iowa are caused by injuries. The Burden of Injury in Iowa report gathered information regarding deaths and hospitalizations. Motor vehicle accidents / automobile accidents were the leading cause of unintentional deaths for all injury related mortalities. Teens and young adults ranging from the age of 15 to 24 represented the groups with the highest rates of hospitalizations / emergency room visits among all age groups. Unintentional or accidental injuries represent the leading cause of death for Iowans in the age range from 1 to 34 years old. You can read more about these statistics and others at Injuries a Leading Cause of Death in Iowa According to Study.

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By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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The United States Department of Health and Human Resources has a website that has a great reference tool for parents and caregivers with children in day care centers and child care centers. Each state regulates day care centers / child care centers through a state specific administrative code and / or policy manual. Go to State Administrative Rules and Policy Manuals for Child Care. Another good resource is located at the website for the National Resource Center for
Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education
. Parents should use these and other resources to educate themselves on the various state specific rules and regulations for day care centers and child care centers. Each state regulates day care centers slightly differently. As such, parents should be informed on the regulations that apply to their children’s day care center. Is the facility following the law? Are the state specific requirements for staffing being met? Are records being kept according to the state law? What information as a parent and caregiver am I entitled to regarding incidents and accidents? What disciplinary measures are allowed? What disciplinary actions are prohibited? These and many other issues are addressed in these day care rules and regulations. In addition, parents concerned about the care being received in a day care center / child care center can also consult with a child injury attorney / lawyer to find out if there is a viable case or claim to be pursued on behalf of a child who has been injured in a day care center as a result of day care negligence, abuse, or neglect.

Published on:

By Thomas J. Duff, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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In Iowa and Other States, teenagers are taking steroids to try to get one step up on the competition in sports, body building and other pursuits. Medical studies have shown that steroids can have serious long term medical effects on teenagers and adults as well. In Gilbertville / Mason City, Todd Gerleman was arrested for giving his teenage son steroids. According to news reports, it was the father’s idea and plan to provide his son with steroids to get his son more interested in sports.

The 14 year old son assaulted his mother in Gilbertville, Iowa. Police responded to the scene and found a syringe and 105 steroid pills in the teenager’s bedroom.

You can read more about this story at Father Provided Son with Steroids in Iowa – Father Arrested.

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By Thomas J. Duff, Attorney and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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Parents, Allen and Nichole Hansen, are mourning the deaths of four of their children who recently died in a house fire. Abigal Ziel (age 14), Megan Hansen (age 7), Tyler Hansen (age 8), and Haylee Hansen (age 3) all died in the fire in the Town of Greeley, Iowa. Their older teenage brother and another family escaped the fire.

Fire investigators are working to determine the cause of the fire that has left an emotional cloud over this community. It has been a tragic chapter in the history of this Iowa town. It also has been a time of bonding and good will for the Town of Greeley.

Even though we live in quite modern times with the advent of the Internet, Mobile Phone, and many great advances, towns like Greeley and big cities still must deal with serious injuries and death caused by fire and smoke inhalation. You can read more about this story at Iowa Mourners Remember Four Children Who Died in a House Fire.

Published on:

By Thomas J. Duff and David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network

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KCCI Des Moines Iowa TV Station did an excellent study and program on distracted drivers. Distracted driving can result from common everyday activities that do not exactly combine well with the physical and mental requirements of operating a motor vehicle. While driving, many people eat, sing, talk, read, check e mail, text, and multi-task. Motor vehicles in many states are referred to as “dangerous instrumentalities” since a minor mistake or a second or two of inattention can lead to serious adult and child injuries and, in some instance, death.

Mobile phones are certainly great and valuable tools. Then again, mobile phones can also distract drivers who are deeply involved in a telephone conversation. Drivers should keep their eyes on the road. If you drop something or feel you need to search for something in your vehicle, wait until the next stop or hat leads the mind to wander away from the primary task at hand – safety operating a motor vehicle, car, truck, and motorcycle. You can see the news report / story by going to the KCCI Web Site at
Distracted Driving in Iowa.

Texting is a real problem these days. Some bus driver, train engineers / operators, and car drivers like their i phones, Black Berry devices, and other mobile devices so much that they text while driving. This act and others can be very dangerous especially for children who passengers or pedestrians who often times become innocent victims from the careless acts of distracted drivers.

The roads will be much safer when people make a conscientious effort to reduce the incidents of distracted driving. Pay attention for the sake of other adults and children on or near the roadways.