KATKO V. BRINEY, Supreme Court of Iowa, 1971, 193 N.W.2d 657 by JohnMValentine


KATKO V. BRINEY, Supreme Court of Iowa, 1971, 193 N.W.2d 657 History: At defendant’s request, case was tried to a jury of residents of community in which defendants’ property was located; jury returned verdict for plaintiff for $20,000 actual and $10,000 punitive damages; trial judge overruled defendants’ motions for judgment notwithstanding verdict and for new trial, and entered judgment on the verdict; appeal by defendants Facts: Katko and his friend, McDonough, had broken and entered the house to find and steal old bottles and dated fruit jars which they considered antiques and were seriously injured by a shot from a 20-gauge spring shotgun set by Briney in a bedroom of an old farm house which had been uninhabited for several years Issue(s): Whether an owner may protect personal property in an unoccupied boarded-up farm house against trespassers and thieves by a spring gun capable of inflicting death or serious injury. Holding: Affirmed Analysis: Possessor land can’t arrange it so as to cause death or serious bodily harm to a trespassor; he can only use what he would if he was present, and in that instance, only reasonably

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