Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Parks v. Ariens Co.

United States District Court, N.D. Iowa, Western Division

June 30, 2015

SUSAN R. PARKS, wife and next of kin of Timothy Glen Parks, deceased, and Executor of the Estate of Timothy Glen Parks, deceased. Plaintiff,
v.
ARIENS COMPANY, a Wisconsin Corporation, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER REGARDING DEFENDANT’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT TABLE OF CONTENTS

MARK W. BENNETT, U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE

I. INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND .............................................. 2

A. Factual Background ............................................................... 2

B. Procedural Background ........................................................... 7

II. LEGAL ANALYSIS ........................................................................ 8

A. Standards For Summary Judgment ............................................. 8

B. Strict Liability Claims ............................................................ 11

C. Negligence claims ................................................................ 12

1. Failure to retrofit ......................................................... 12

2. Failure to provide ROPS as standard equipment ................... 13

III. CONCLUSION ............................................................................ 16

Timothy Parks was killed when his Gravely Promaster 152Z zero turn radius lawn mower rolled over on top of him as he was mowing his acreage. He is survived by his wife, Susan Parks. She has brought suit for wrongful death on theories of strict liability and negligence. In this diversity action under Iowa products liability law, I am asked to determine whether Susan is entitled to present to a jury both her strict liability and negligence claims. These questions, and others, are presented by defendant’s motion for summary judgment.

I. INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

A. Factual Background

I set out only those facts, disputed and undisputed, sufficient to put in context the parties’ arguments concerning Ariens’s motion for summary judgment and resistance to it. At least for the purposes of summary judgment, the facts recited here are undisputed. I will discuss additional factual allegations, and the extent to which they are or are not disputed or material, if necessary, in my legal analysis.

On June 3, 2013, Timothy Glen Parks (“Tim”) was killed in an accident while operating a Gravely Promaster 152Z zero turn radius lawn mower (“the 152Z mower”). Tim died when the 152Z mower rolled upside down in a ditch onto him. Tim was married to Susan Parks. Tim and Susan were married in 1976. At the time of the accident, Tim lived at 26312 Highway 12, Westfield, Iowa. Tim had lived there since 1996. The Parks’ residence was a large acreage with, inter alia, 12 fruit trees.[1] The 12 fruit trees are spread out over about 10 acres, but there is no orchard on the acreage. Tim was the person primarily responsible for mowing his acreage. Tim used the 152Z mower to cut the grass on his acreage from 2006 until 2012. Tim only used the 152Z mower for cutting grass. It took Tim four to five 8 hour days to mow the entire acreage. In the summer, Tim would use the 152Z mower two to three hours each morning to cut the lawn. He was responsible for maintaining the 152Z mower. Tim was an experienced and skilled user of tractors with mower attachments.

At the time of the accident, Tim was driving the 152Z mower in a northerly direction on the west side of his driveway mowing a 24 inch strip of grass between the gravel driveway and the edge of a ditch. At the bottom of the ditch is a culvert. The mowing path along the shoulder and south of the culvert is approximately five feet wide. Chief Nielsen of the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Department took photographs of the accident scene on the day of the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.