Michael v. Harrison County Rural Elec. Co-op., No. 2-64070

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Iowa
Writing for the CourtConsidered by REYNOLDSON; ALLBEE
Citation292 N.W.2d 417
Decision Date21 May 1980
Docket NumberNo. 2-64070
PartiesCarl MICHAEL and Marilyn I. Michael, Appellants, v. HARRISON COUNTY RURAL ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, Appellee. HARRISON COUNTY RURAL ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, Third-Party Plaintiff, v. HARRISON COUNTY and Gerald Withem, Third-Party Defendants.

Page 417

292 N.W.2d 417
Carl MICHAEL and Marilyn I. Michael, Appellants,
v.
HARRISON COUNTY RURAL ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, Appellee.
HARRISON COUNTY RURAL ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, Third-Party Plaintiff,
v.
HARRISON COUNTY and Gerald Withem, Third-Party Defendants.
No. 2-64070.
Supreme Court of Iowa.
May 21, 1980.

Page 419

Martin E. Spellman of Spellman, Spellman, Spellman & Spellman, Perry, and James R. Welsh of Welsh, Sibbernsen & Bowen, Omaha, Neb., for appellants.

James A. Giles, Robert M. Holliday and John T. Ward of Wasker, Sullivan & Ward, Des Moines, for appellee.

Considered by REYNOLDSON, C. J., and REES, UHLENHOPP, ALLBEE, and McGIVERIN, JJ.

ALLBEE, Justice.

Plaintiffs appeal from the judgment entered on an adverse jury verdict in their tort action arising out of injuries suffered by plaintiff Carl Michael when a dragline came in contact with defendant's high voltage, overhead electrical transmission line. Plaintiff Marilyn I. Michael's claim is based on loss of consortium.

The accident occurred on February 27, 1976, while Carl was working as a member of a Harrison County Road Department crew engaged in the repair of a bridge located northwest of Woodbine. A dragline was being used to lift and set steel beams in place on the bridge. Carl, working from a ground-level position, was guiding a beam into place when the dragline came in contact with the overhead transmission line. As a result, Carl was severely and permanently injured by electrical current.

I. Plaintiffs first contend that trial court abused its discretion in denying their motion for a continuance of the trial assigned to begin on July 24, 1979. That motion asked that the trial be continued, as it had been once before in April 1979, because of recent open heart surgery of a witness, Leland Ray Isaacs, and his resulting inability to withstand the stress of giving evidence at trial. Plaintiffs argued, inter alia, that the evidence sought from Isaacs, a lineman-employee of defendant, was critical to their case, that Isaacs's discovery deposition testimony was not sufficient for the effective presentation of their evidence, that plaintiffs needed to confront Isaacs with documents and evidence that had come to light since the taking of his deposition, and that Isaacs was an unwilling and hostile witness whose demeanor in response to interrogation should be observed by the jury in order to assess his credibility.

For us to find an abuse of discretion in a trial court ruling, it must be shown by the complaining party that the trial court's action was unreasonable under the attendant circumstances. State v. Cott, 283 N.W.2d 324, 329 (Iowa 1979). We note, too, that discretionary rulings, such as the one here, are presumptively correct and complainant has a heavy burden to overcome the presumption of regularity. See State v. Gartin, 271 N.W.2d 902, 910-11 (Iowa 1978) (quoting Donahoo, The Scope of Judicial Discretion in the...

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18 practice notes
  • Beeck v. Aquaslide 'N' Dive Corp., No. 2-68891
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • May 16, 1984
    ...acquired by marriage" and that it is forfeited unless specifically preserved. Michael v. Harrison County Rural Electric Cooperative, 292 N.W.2d 417, 420 (Iowa 1980). The question raised by Aquaslide is whether pertinent language in a stipulation entered into by the Beecks and incorporated i......
  • Wakefield v. Puckett, No. 89-CA-1328
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • August 14, 1991
    ...116 Cal.App.3d 776 (1981); Moss v. Greyhound Lines, Inc., 607 S.W.2d 192 (Mo.App.1980); Michael v. Harrison County Rural Elec. Co-op, 292 N.W.2d 417 (Iowa 1980); Rawls v. Damare, 377 So.2d 1376 (La.App.1979); Walton v. Jones, 286 N.W.2d 710 (Minn.1979); Fabbrini Family Foods, Inc. v. United......
  • Laws v. Griep, No. 68040
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • April 20, 1983
    ...when the marriage is dissolved unless preserved in the dissolution decree. See Michael v. Harrison County Rural Electric Cooperative, 292 N.W.2d 417, 420 (Iowa In the present case we are asked to add to the common law by extending the cause of action to unmarried cohabiting men and women wh......
  • Rattenborg by Rattenborg v. Montgomery Elevator Co., No. 87-1672
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Iowa
    • January 26, 1989
    ...of the trial court. Countryman v. McMains, 381 N.W.2d 638, 640 (Iowa 1986); Michael v. Harrison County Rural Electric Cooperative, 292 N.W.2d 417, 419 (Iowa 1980). A district court's ruling on such matters is presumptively correct, and a party challenging the ruling has a heavy burden to ov......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
18 cases
  • Beeck v. Aquaslide 'N' Dive Corp., No. 2-68891
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • May 16, 1984
    ...acquired by marriage" and that it is forfeited unless specifically preserved. Michael v. Harrison County Rural Electric Cooperative, 292 N.W.2d 417, 420 (Iowa 1980). The question raised by Aquaslide is whether pertinent language in a stipulation entered into by the Beecks and incorporated i......
  • Wakefield v. Puckett, No. 89-CA-1328
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Mississippi
    • August 14, 1991
    ...116 Cal.App.3d 776 (1981); Moss v. Greyhound Lines, Inc., 607 S.W.2d 192 (Mo.App.1980); Michael v. Harrison County Rural Elec. Co-op, 292 N.W.2d 417 (Iowa 1980); Rawls v. Damare, 377 So.2d 1376 (La.App.1979); Walton v. Jones, 286 N.W.2d 710 (Minn.1979); Fabbrini Family Foods, Inc. v. United......
  • Laws v. Griep, No. 68040
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • April 20, 1983
    ...when the marriage is dissolved unless preserved in the dissolution decree. See Michael v. Harrison County Rural Electric Cooperative, 292 N.W.2d 417, 420 (Iowa In the present case we are asked to add to the common law by extending the cause of action to unmarried cohabiting men and women wh......
  • Rattenborg by Rattenborg v. Montgomery Elevator Co., No. 87-1672
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Iowa
    • January 26, 1989
    ...of the trial court. Countryman v. McMains, 381 N.W.2d 638, 640 (Iowa 1986); Michael v. Harrison County Rural Electric Cooperative, 292 N.W.2d 417, 419 (Iowa 1980). A district court's ruling on such matters is presumptively correct, and a party challenging the ruling has a heavy burden to ov......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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