The Iowa Court of Appeals has ruled the city of Sutherland’s insurance company is not liable for an accident the police chief had with his own vehicle. Court records say David Johannsen was the police chief of the city of Sutherland in 2004 when he had an accident while driving his best friend Gary Tunink and Tunink’s girlfriend Jodi Munn around in his truck on a gravel road outside the city limits.
The record says Tunink and Munn were having sex in the back seat of the truck, Johannsen became distracted and lost control of the truck. He drove off the road and the truck rolled over several times. Munn died in the accident and Tunink was paralyzed. Tunink sued Johannsen saying he was liable for the accident and was awarded over three-million dollars.
Tunink then sought to get the city of Sutherland’s insurance company to help pay the judgment. Tunnink said Johannsen had originally picked him up to try and get him to avoid having a fight with other men, so Johannsen was working in his capacity as police chief.
The Iowa Court of Appeals ruled it was “inconceivable” that Johannsen driving his friend outside the city limits after three a.m. while he engaged in sexual relations was in any way, shape or form related to the conduct of the city’s business. The Appeals Court upheld the district court ruling that Johannsen was not on duty and the city insurer does not have to pay.
See the entire ruling here: Tunink ruling PDF