The Iowa Supreme Court has ruled in a case involving a chaperone on a field trip to a northeast Iowa dairy farm. Kimberly Ann Sallee volunteered to help chaperone kindergarten students from Sacred Heart school on a planned visit to the Fayette County dairy farm of Matthew and Diana Stewart.
After riding a horse, viewing the cows, and other activities, the children were allowed to go up into the hayloft to play. Sallee went into the hayloft and later fell and broke her wrist and leg when she got on a hay bale that was covering a hole used to throw the hay down to animals.
The Stewarts had checked the hay bale covering the hole prior to the field trip and found no problems. Sallee sued the Stewarts but they asked to have the suit throw out under a law that gives immunity to landowners who open up their land for recreational use. The lower courts ruled the diary farm is not covered under the recreational use provision.
The Iowa Supreme Court agreed with that ruling, but the High Court also ruled that Sallee has not raised any issue that there was willful or malicious conduct by the Stewarts that led to her injuries. The Supreme Court sent the case back to the district court for further action.
See the complete ruling here: Sallee ruling PDF