review from the Iowa Court of Appeals.
from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Jeffrey D.
injured party seeks further review of a court of appeals
decision affirming an adverse decision on a motion for
summary judgment in a dramshop action. DECISION OF COURT OF
APPEALS VACATED; DISTRICT COURT JUDGMENT REVERSED AND CASE
Michael T. Norris of Slater & Norris, P.L.C., West Des
Moines, for appellant.
D. Zenor of Grefe & Sidney, P.L.C., Des Moines, for
front end of an alleged intoxicated person's (AIP)
vehicle struck the rear end of another vehicle. The driver of
the struck vehicle filed suit against a bar under Iowa's
dramshop statute, alleging the bar sold and served alcohol to
the AIP when it knew or should have known the AIP was
intoxicated or would become intoxicated. The driver also
filed suit against the AIP. The district court granted the
bar's motion to consolidate the actions.
moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the
bar's motion. The driver appealed. We transferred the
case to our court of appeals. Adopting the analysis of the
district court, the court of appeals affirmed summary
judgment in favor of the bar.
driver filed an application for further review, which we
granted. Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to
the driver, we find a genuine issue of material fact exists
as to whether the bar knew or should have known the AIP was
or would become intoxicated when it served alcohol to her.
Accordingly, we vacate the decision of the court of appeals,
reverse the judgment of the district court, and remand the
case for further proceedings.
Background Facts and Proceedings.
summary judgment record contains the following facts.
Michelle Campbell is a learning and development consultant in
the human resources department of Holmes Murphy. On February
27, 2015, Campbell went to Draught House 50 in West Des
Moines with a group of five or six coworkers for postwork
happy hour. Campbell arrived at Draught House 50 around 4:30
p.m. and stayed until around 8:30 p.m. She did not have any
alcoholic beverages before arriving at or after leaving
Draught House 50.
December 14 deposition, Campbell claimed she shared
appetizers with her coworkers and consumed three bottled
Peace Tree beers during the course of the evening. The record
does not show the size or percentage of alcohol in these
beers. Each of the three rounds was on an open tab. Campbell
claimed she did not drink any shots, mixed drinks, or wine.
Campbell stated she did not recall anyone else at the table
of Holmes Murphy bought the first two rounds and
Campbell's supervisor bought the last round. Campbell
claimed they ordered all three rounds of alcohol from a
server who came to their table. Campbell further claimed
neither she nor anyone else at the table exhibited excited
emotions or yelled. According to Campbell, her group
maintained the normal voice level of a bar on a Friday
record lacks evidence of when Draught House 50 served
Campbell's last beer. However, Campbell's supervisor,
the person who bought the last round, left around 7:30 p.m.
close of the gathering, Campbell got behind the wheel to
drive home. She felt "in control" despite being
"buzzed." Campbell stated her cell phone rang while
on the road, so she looked down to see who was calling. At
that moment, Campbell struck the rear of a vehicle stopped at
a red light. Rhonda Banwart was the driver of the rear-ended
vehicle and her two minor children were passengers. The
accident occurred at the intersection of 60th and Ashworth
Road, which is around fifteen to twenty blocks away, or a
mile and a half away, from Draught House 50.
Officer Barry Graham was dispatched to the accident scene at
8:36 p.m. Upon arrival at the scene around 8:39 p.m., Officer
Graham spoke with Campbell, at which point he smelled the
odor of alcohol coming from her. Campbell told Officer Graham
she was coming from Draught House 50 and had consumed three
alcoholic beverages prior to driving. She informed him she
felt "buzzed." Officer Graham noticed Campbell had
bloodshot, watery eyes and slurred speech. She had difficulty
understanding Officer Graham's request for license,
registration, and insurance. Based on his education,
training, and experience, Officer Graham considered
Campbell's demeanor and difficulty following simple
instructions as signs of intoxication.
Graham requested Campbell to perform standard field sobriety
tests, to which she complied. Campbell exited her vehicle and
walked to the front of Officer Graham's squad car without
stumbling. Officer Graham first conducted the horizontal gaze
nystagmus test and noted Campbell "lacked smooth
pursuit" in following his finger with her eyes. Campbell
next agreed to perform the walk-and-turn test but expressed
concern the cold temperature outside might affect her
performance. Officer Graham thus transported Campbell to the
West Des Moines police station to conduct the walk and turn.
Campbell was not under arrest at this point.
police station, Campbell exhibited capricious emotions, from
laughing and joking to crying, while attempting to complete
the walk and turn. She failed to follow instructions, missed
heel to toe, stepped off the line, raised her arms, took an
improper number of steps, and made an improper turn. Officer
Graham next asked Campbell to do the one-leg stand. She
swayed from side to side and put her foot down during the
test. Based on the results of the tests, Officer Graham
concluded Campbell showed signs of intoxication.
p.m., Campbell consented to a preliminary breath test, which
indicated a blood alcohol content (BAC) of over .08. The
legal limit is a BAC of .08. At 9:55 p.m., Officer Graham
arrested Campbell for operating while intoxicated (OWI).
Around 10:14 p.m., almost three hours after the supervisor
who bought the last round left Draught House 50 and almost
two hours after Campbell left Draught House 50, Officer
Graham requested from Campbell a breath sample for the
Datamaster, which indicated a BAC of .143. Campbell later
pled guilty to the OWI charge.
April 2, Banwart filed a petition on behalf of herself and
her children against Draught House 50 under Iowa's
dramshop statute. See Iowa Code §
123.92(1)(a) (2015). Banwart alleged Draught House
50 served alcohol to Campbell to the point of intoxication,
and proximately caused Campbell's intoxication and the
subsequent collision. On the same day, Banwart also filed a
petition on behalf of herself and her children against
Campbell, alleging Campbell was negligent for a number of
reasons, including operating her vehicle while under the
influence of alcohol.
January 2016, the district court granted Draught House
50's motion to consolidate both petitions. On February 3,
Draught House 50 filed a motion for summary judgment. The
court granted summary judgment in favor of Draught House 50.
In its order, the court noted the accident happened only a
few minutes after Campbell left Draught House 50. However,
even though the evidence from the accident scene was
"highly material" to show Campbell was intoxicated
when she left Draught House 50, the court reasoned the issue
was whether Draught House 50 knew or should have known that
Campbell was intoxicated or would become intoxicated at the
time it sold and served her the beers.
granting summary judgment to Draught House 50, the court
concluded that "the undisputed evidence of serving three
beers over four hours, absent something more, [cannot]
create an inference that Draught House knew or should
[have] know[n] that . . . Campbell was intoxicated or would
19, Banwart appealed the district court's order. Banwart
settled her claims with Campbell. Thus, the only defendant
that remains in this action is Draught House 50.
transferred the case to our court of appeals. The court of
appeals affirmed the district court's judgment. Banwart
filed an application for further review, which we granted.
issue is whether a genuine issue of material fact exists as
to whether Draught House 50 knew or should have known
Campbell was intoxicated or would become intoxicated when it
sold and served the beers to her.
Scope of Review.
review orders granting summary judgment for correction of
errors at law. Johnson Propane, Heating & Cooling,
Inc. v. Iowa Dep't of Transp., 891 N.W.2d 220, 224
Summary Judgment Standards.
judgment is appropriate
if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories,
and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any,
show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact
and that the moving ...