Iowa Appeals Court Mulls Definition of Storm in Mall Lawsuit

The Iowa Court of Appeals is weighing into the murky issue of how to define a storm in Iowa.

The court in a ruling Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit against a Cedar Falls mall owner filed after a woman fell on Dec. 23, 2009.

The court says College Square Mall had the right to wait until after freezing rain passed to clear sidewalks.

Shopper Karen Rochford fell. She argues there was no storm so the mall can’t claim it was waiting for the storm to pass to clear walks.

The court says there’s no definition in Iowa case law of a storm, but the commonly accepted continuing storm doctrine holds that property owners may wait to clear sidewalks in instances when there is less severe inclement weather short of a blizzard.