In a sharply divided court opinion, the Iowa Supreme Court in early 2013 decided a case, Sallee v. Stewart,1 which clarifies the situations in which the recreational use statute in that state can be invoked. The trial court holding had been upheld on appeal to the Iowa Court of Appeals but was reversed by the state’s highest court. The facts of the controversy were that kindergartners from a private school for many years had visited a local farm to learn about life on the farm . On the day in question, the owners of the farm had set up three stations for the students – (1) at one station the students rode a horse in a round pen; (2) at the second station, the students fed a bottle of milk to a young calf; and (3) at the third station, the kindergartners could view a tractor. The owners of the farm then guided the group to a barn to allow the students to play in the hayloft. A chaperone, accompanying the group, was injured when she fell through a hole in the floor which had been covered with hay bales. The injured chaperone sued the owners of the farm for negligence.2 The defense was that Iowa’s recreational use statute shielded the owners from liability.3



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