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Lancaster v. Craven

Court of Appeal of Iowa

November 6, 2013

H. RANDALL LANCASTER, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
BRIAN CRAVEN, Defendant-Appellee.

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Douglas F. Staskal, Judge.

H. Randall Lancaster appeals from the district court's ruling granting summary judgment in favor of Craven.

Channing L. Dutton of Lawyer, Lawyer, Dutton & Drake, L.L.P., West Des Moines, for appellant.

Michael B. Oliver of Oliver Law Firm, P.C., Windsor Heights, for appellee.

Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Potterfield and Doyle, JJ.

DOYLE, J.

H. Randall Lancaster appeals from the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of defendant vehicle owner Brian Craven, asserting there was a factual dispute as to whether the driver of Craven's vehicle had Craven's permission and consent to operate the vehicle. For the reasons that follow, we reverse the court's summary judgment ruling and remand for further proceedings.

I. Background Facts and Proceedings.

Brian Craven loaned his son a vehicle after his son's car broke down. Craven's son later allowed his friend, Megan Kinsley-Hargin, to drive the vehicle. While driving Craven's vehicle, Kingsley-Hargin struck the vehicle Lancaster was driving, and Lancaster was injured. The collision was Kingsley-Hargin's fault.

Lancaster filed suit to recover damages for his personal injuries against Craven, alleging Kingsley-Hargin had operated Craven's vehicle with the owner's permission and consent. Craven admitted he owned the vehicle, but he denied he had authorized anyone, other than his son, to drive the vehicle, and he subsequently filed a motion for summary judgment on this basis. Lancaster resisted, asserting a question of material fact existed as to the consent issue, and thus summary judgment was improper.

After hearing, the district court found:
Although [Craven] did not explicitly tell [his son] not to let anyone else drive the car when he loaned it to [his son], there was a long standing rule of the household while [his children] were growing up that they were not to allow anyone else to drive the family cars. [His son] knew and understood this rule and considered it applicable when [Craven] loaned him the car on this occasion.

The court concluded there was no genuine issue of material fact that Craven did not consent to Kinsley-Hargin's operation of the car. The court granted summary judgment in favor of Craven and dismissed ...


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