The Iowa Supreme Court has ruled against a mother’s insurance claim following an accident that killed her son. Court records in the Iowa County case show that Anthony Moore was sitting on the trunk of the car driven by Nicole Eckman on May 13, 2005 when Moore fell off the car and suffered a head injury that led to his death.
Moore’s mother Carole arrived on the scene of the accident immediately after it occurred, and was the first person to try and help her son. The driver Eckman, was sued for negligence, and included in the suit is what’s called a bystander claim by Carole Moore for the emotional distress. The insurance company asked the district judge to dismiss the bystander claim because Moore did not actually witness the accident.
The district court however, allowed Moore’s claim to stand. The Iowa Supreme Court says the district court was in error as the undisputed facts in this case show that Carole Moore did not observe the accident.
The high court says while it recognizes that Moore’s grief may be as great or greater than one who observes the accident, the issue is the requirement under law that the person must witness the accident to qualify to make such a claim.