from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Sean W.
Smith appeals from the district court's order granting
J. Thorson of Ackley, Kopecky & Kingery, LLP, Cedar
Rapids, for appellant.
L. Yung of Klass Law Firm, LLP, Sioux City, for appellee.
Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Doyle and Bower, JJ.
Smith (Smith) appeals the district court's grant of
summary judgment to All Stor Fort Knox, LLC (All Stor). We
hold the district court properly found a contractual release
from liability valid and that All Stor was entitled to
judgment as a matter of law. We affirm the district
court's grant of summary judgment.
Background Facts and Proceedings
Stor is a storage unit facility in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. On
December 3, 2011, Smith rented a storage unit from All Stor
with his sister, signing a rental agreement form. On
September 5, 2014, in the office at the All Stor facility,
the chair Smith sat in broke, rolled out from under him, or
in some other manner resulted in Smith falling to the ground.
Smith claims injuries arising from the fall.
15, 2016, Smith brought suit against All Stor, claiming
negligence for the condition of the chair and gross
negligence under the doctrine of res ipsa
loquitur. All Stor filed a timely answer, then on
December 12 filed a motion for leave to amend its answer to
add the limitation of liability clause as an affirmative
defense. Smith then filed an amended petition adding a count
for spoliation of evidence in February 2017.
22, All Stor moved for summary judgment, claiming the
contract prevented the recovery of damages even if All Stor
or its agents were negligent. The court granted the motion
without a hearing. Smith appeals.
rental contract for the storage unit included a limitation of
liability provision as follows:
6. LIMITATION OF LIABILITY. Tenant
acknowledges and agrees that Lessor shall have no liability,
waives all claims and forever releases Lessor and its owners,
employees and agents from any and all claims, damages,
liabilities, lawsuits, costs or expenses, including
attorneys' fees, for any personal injury or other
property loss arising from or related to the use of the Unit
or the Facility, and from any and all other causes
whatsoever, including but not limited to, burglary, fire,
water, wind, rodents, acts of God, causes beyond ...