from the Iowa District Court for Johnson County, Lars G.
Gerard appeals following a jury verdict in favor of the City
of North Liberty and North Liberty Police Officer Mitchell
Seymour on a negligence claim.
A. O'Brien of David O'Brien Law, Cedar Rapids, for
Bradley J. Kaspar and Terry J. Abernathy of Pickens, Barnes
& Abernathy Law Firm, Cedar Rapids, for appellees.
Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Tabor and Mullins, JJ.
VAITHESWARAN, Presiding Judge.
Liberty police arrested Anissa Gerard after she acted
belligerently. When officers were moving her within the
police station, she missed a step and fell. Gerard sued the
City of North Liberty and Officer Mitchell Seymour for
negligence in failing to warn her of the step and in failing
to protect her from falling down the step. A jury found they
were not at fault.
appeal, Gerard (1) challenges the district court's
failure to give the jury her proposed instruction on a
special duty of care owed by the defendants and (2) contends
the jury verdict was not supported by substantial evidence.
asked the court to give the jury the following definition of
"Negligence" means failure to use ordinary care.
Ordinary care is the care which a reasonably careful person
would use under similar circumstances. "Negligence"
is doing something a reasonably careful person would not do
under similar circumstances, or failing to do something a
reasonably careful person would do under similar
In this case the defendants' duty to the plaintiff
went beyond "ordinary care." As the result of
taking the plaintiff into custody and handcuffing her hands
and arms behind her back plaintiff lost her normal ability of
self-protection. Therefore, the defendants owed a special
duty to aid and protect plaintiff from injury.
(Emphasis added.) The district court elected to give the
un-italicized portion, which is identical to the Iowa State
Bar Association's Jury Instruction 700.2. SeeHaskenhoff v. Homeland Energy Sols., LLC, 897 N.W.2d