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Estate of Fritz v. Henningar

Court: US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

Docket: 20-3582

Opinion Date: December 8, 2021

Judge: Stras

Areas of Law: Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Personal Injury

This case law update is brought to you by Freeway Law auto accident and personal injury lawyers in Orange County. The following is not one of our cases, but it is of some significance, and we thought we should share it with our readers for informational purposes. The information above is for informational purposes only and not to be construed as legal advice.

The Estate of Willy Fritz filed suit against a police officer and the City of West Union, alleging a claim of recklessness, among other things, after the officer’s police cruiser crashed into Fritz’s truck which led to Fritz’s death. The district court granted the defendants’ motion for summary judgment.

The Eighth Circuit affirmed, concluding that the evidence does not establish recklessness under Iowa law where it failed to show that the officer had conscious knowledge of a dangerous situation as his police cruiser crossed a four-way intersection. In this case, the police cruiser approached the intersection, traffic had stopped, the road was straight, and the “lane ahead” was clear. Therefore, the district court did not err in granting summary judgment.

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