Iowa Supreme Court Upholds Woman's Medical Emergency Defense
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The Iowa Supreme Court has upheld a jury verdict that found a Cedar Falls woman was not negligent when she rear-ended a pickup truck stopped at a red light in 2008 because she had suffered a stroke just before the crash.
Betty Schmidt, who was 75 in November 2008, was returning from grocery shopping when she rear-ended Dennis Hagenow's truck. It was her first accident ever.
Her doctor concluded a stroke while driving impaired her vision. Hagenow's expert witness claimed the stroke came after the accident.
A jury found her not at fault for medical reasons. Hagenow appealed and the Iowa Court of Appeals ordered a new trial citing flawed jury instructions relating to the sudden emergency defense.
The Supreme Court reverses that decision and upholds the jury verdict.