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Lack v. State

Court of Appeals of Iowa

October 10, 2018

VERONICA M. LACK, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
STATE OF IOWA and THE IOWA DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES, Defendants-Appellees.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Jeanie K. Vaudt, Judge.

         Veronica Lack appeals from the district court's grant of summary judgment to the defendants in this civil rights action. AFFIRMED.

          Veronica M. Lack, Waukee, self-represented appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and David S. Steward, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

          Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Vogel and Tabor, JJ.

          DANILSON, CHIEF JUDGE.

         On December 9, 2013, Veronica Lack filed this action asserting the State of Iowa and its department of natural resources (collectively "the department"[1]) had discriminated against her on the basis of sex, age, and disability and retaliated against her. Her petition was subsequently dismissed via a summary judgment on the basis that none of the conduct complained of fell within the 300-day limitation period provided in Iowa Code section 216.15(3) (2009). Lack appeals contending there was a continuing violation under the Iowa Civil Rights Act (ICRA).

         Lack's petition alleged, in part:

In 1993-2004 (the time period involving Lack's original well) and then through 2009 (Lack's newly drilled well) and thereafter, the [department] failed and/or refused to provide the information it had committed to provide to Lack, including the well test results that were showing positive for anhydrous ammonia, which demonstrates that Lack and her family continued to be exposed to high levels thereof.

         The department answered and asserted affirmative defenses.

         The department filed a motion for summary judgment on August 4, 2017, contending it was entitled to summary judgment for the following reasons:

(a) Lack's claims were not timely filed within the 300-day statutory limitations period contained within the ICRA;
(b) Lack cannot alleged facts sufficient to support a claim of discrimination based upon age, ...

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