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Statutes of Limitations (IOWA)

Personal Injury - 2 yrs. (even if Contracts) [I.C.A. § 614.1]

Wrongful Death - 2 yrs. (even if Contracts) [I.C.A. § 614.1]

Med Mal - 2 yrs. after discovery, but no later than 6 yrs. from act/omission [I.C.A. § 614.1]

Property Damage - 5 yrs. [I.C.A. § 614.1]

Written Contracts - 10 yrs. [I.C.A. § 614.1]

Oral Contracts - 5 yrs. [I.C.A. § 614.1]

Breach of Implied Warranty - 5 yrs. [Speight v. Walters Development Co., Ltd., 744 N.W.2d 108 (Iowa 2008);

Richards v. Midland Brick Sales Co., Inc., 551 N.W.2d 649 (Iowa. App. 1996)]

Breach of Express Warranty - Same as Written Contract


Under “discovery rule,” statute of limitations does not begin to run until injured party has actual or imputed knowledge of facts supporting all elements of action; once injured party has such knowledge, statute begins to run, even where party has no actual or imputed knowledge that facts are legally actionable [Franzen v. Deere and Co., 377 N.W.2d 660 (Iowa 1985)]


Statutes of Repose (IOWA)

Products - 15 yrs. [I.C.A. § 614.1]

Construction of Real Property - Old statute: 15 yrs. [I.C.A. § 614.1].  New (very recent) statute: 10 yrs. for residential properties and 8 yrs. for all other properties [I.C.A. § 614.1(11)]. 

Claims Against Public/Gov. Entities (NOTE: “sovereign immunity” rules may apply) (IOWA)

Against City and County - Suit within 2 yrs. [I.C.A. § 670.5]; 1-yr notice for actions involving death [I.C.A. § 670.6]

Against State - Claim must be presented within 2 yrs. and the time to file suit is extended for 6 mos. from the date of mailing of rejection notice from attorney general [I.C.A. § 669.13]

Comparative Negligence (IOWA)

Modified comparative (damages are diminished in proportion to Plaintiff’s fault, but Plaintiff cannot recover if he is 51% at fault) [I.C.A. § 668.3]

Made Whole Doctrine (MWD) (IOWA)

Recognized/applied (known as “full recovery rule”).  The “full recovery rule” requires that Insurer’s claim for reimbursement does not mature until Insured has been fully compensated for his damages [Brandon v. West Bend Mut. Ins. Co., 681 N.W.2d 633 (Iowa 2004)]. 

Most likely, MWD can be modified by a contract.  Automobile liability Insurer was entitled to medical expenses portion of Insured’s settlement with Tortfeasor, pursuant to a policy provision allowing subrogation for medical expenses paid by Insurer if Insured was “made whole” for her loss, though other elements of Insured’s third-party claim (pain/suffering, disability) may not have been fully satisfied [Ludwig v. Farm Bureau Mut. Ins. Co., 393 N.W.2d 143 (Iowa 1986)].

Economic Loss Doctrine (ELD) (Assuming No Injury to Person or Damage to “Other Property”) (IOWA)

Recognized/applied.  Tort recovery for purely economic losses is prohibited, and such claims are consigned to contract law; factors to be considered in determining whether a products liability claim sounds in tort or contract are the nature of the defect, the type of risk, and the manner in which the injury arose.  [American Fire and Cas. Co. v. Ford Motor Co., 588 N.W.2d 437 (Iowa 1999)]

However, with respect to a products liability claim, a tort theory is generally available when the harm results from a sudden or dangerous occurrence, frequently involving some violence or collision with external objects, resulting from a genuine hazard in the nature of the product defect.  Fire has been characterized as a sudden and highly dangerous occurrence; a truck starting itself on fire qualifies as a danger and not as an economic disappointment. [American Fire and Cas. Co. v. Ford Motor Co., 588 N.W.2d 437 (Iowa 1999)].

Certificate/Affidavit Of Merit Requirements (Claims Against Licensed Professionals) (IOWA)

No requirements.





Landlord/Tenant Subrogation (IOWA)

Subrogation allowed, “Sutton Rule” rejected [Neubauer v. Hostetter, 485 N.W.2d 87 (Iowa 1992)]

Reimbursement of Deductible(s) (IOWA)

Auto - Pro rata (must include in subro demand).  Property - No law available.

MedPay and PIP (IOWA)

MedPay and PIP - Subrogation allowed. 

Liability of Parents (IOWA)

$2,000 per act ($5,000 per 2+ acts) for unlawful acts [I.C.A. § 613.16]

Joint Liability (IOWA)

Several liability(Plaintiff can recover from each Defendant only that Defendant’s share of the fault).  Joint and several liability applies only to Defendants who are 50% or more at fault and only with respect to economic damages. [I.C.A. § 668.4]

Independent Cause of Action for Intentional or Negligent Evidence Spoliation (IOWA)

Not addressed/recognized.

Conflicts of Law (IOWA)

Torts - Iowa will apply the law of the state with the most significant relationship with the parties and which has principal interest in issue in dispute [Weaver v. Nash Intern., Inc., 562 F.Supp. 860 (S.D. Iowa 1983)].  Contracts - Iowa will apply the “most significant relationship” test (even when the contract contains a choice-of-law provision) [Harlan Feeders, Inc. v. Grand Laboratories, Inc., 881 F.Supp. 1400 (N.D. Iowa 1995)].

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