Text: HSB574            Text: HSB576


House Study Bill 575

HOUSE FILE BY (PROPOSED COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY BILL BY CHAIRPERSON ANDERSON) A BILL FOR 1 An Act relating to the failure to wear a motor vehicle 2 safety belt or safety harness or use a motor vehicle child 3 restraint system. 4 BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA: TLSB 5928YC (3) 84 rh/nh PAG LIN 1 1 Section 1. Section 321.445, subsection 4, paragraph b, Code 1 2 2011, is amended to read as follows: 1 3 b. In a cause of action arising on or after July 1, 1986, 1 4 brought to recover damages arising out of the ownership or 1 5 operation of a motor vehicle, the failure to wear a safety 1 6 belt or safety harness in violation of this section shall not 1 7 may be considered evidence of comparative fault under section 1 8 668.3, subsection 1. However, except as provided in section 1 9 321.446, subsection 6, the failure to wear a safety belt or 1 10 safety harness in violation of this section may be admitted to 1 11 mitigate damages, but only under the following circumstances: 1 12 (1) Parties, provided that a party seeking to introduce 1 13 evidence of the failure to wear a safety belt or safety harness 1 14 in violation of this section must first introduce substantial 1 15 evidence that the failure to wear a safety belt or safety 1 16 harness contributed to the injury or injuries claimed by the 1 17 plaintiff. 1 18 (2) If the evidence supports such a finding, the trier of 1 19 fact may find that the plaintiff's failure to wear a safety 1 20 belt or safety harness in violation of this section contributed 1 21 to the plaintiff's claimed injury or injuries, and may reduce 1 22 the amount of plaintiff's recovery by an amount not to exceed 1 23 five percent of the damages awarded after any reductions for 1 24 comparative fault. 1 25 Sec. 2. Section 321.446, subsection 6, Code 2011, is amended 1 26 by striking the subsection. 1 27 EXPLANATION 1 28 Current law allows evidence of failure to wear a motor 1 29 vehicle safety belt or safety harness as required by Code 1 30 section 321.445, subsection 2, to be used to mitigate damages 1 31 in a civil case upon a showing of substantial evidence that the 1 32 failure to wear the safety belt or safety harness contributed 1 33 to the injuries claimed. The bill eliminates the statutory 1 34 5 percent limitation on the reduction in damages awarded to 1 35 plaintiffs who fail to wear a safety belt or safety harness 2 1 and allows the jury to determine the appropriate reduction in 2 2 damages for failure to wear a seat belt or safety harness upon 2 3 consideration of all of the facts in the case. 2 4 Current law provides that evidence of a failure to use a 2 5 child restraint system, safety belts, or safety harnesses 2 6 as required by Code section 321.446, subsection 6, does 2 7 not constitute negligence nor is such evidence admissible 2 8 in a civil action. The bill eliminates the prohibition on 2 9 introducing such evidence. A child restraint system is a 2 10 specially designed seating system, including a belt=positioning 2 11 seat or a booster seat, that meets federal motor vehicle safety 2 12 standards. LSB 5928YC (3) 84 rh/nh
Text: HSB574            Text: HSB576