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Fri Jun 29, 2012, 10:44 PM

Iowa GOP House Candidate Sued over party incident

A former University of Iowa student and GOP candidate has been sued by a former friend over actions at a party that left the plaintiff permanently disfigured.

Carson Kness, also of Johnston, filed the civil suit in Polk County District Court against Jake Highfill, 22, a Johnston Republican who defeated GOP incumbent Erik Helland in the June 5 primary in House District 39. Highfill will face Democrat Kelsey Clark of Grimes in the November election.

Court documents indicate Kness and Highfill met in high school and were close friends until the October 2010 incident. In his lawsuit filed in October 2011, Kness alleges Highfill appeared among guests at a house party at their mutual Johnson County residence, displayed a shotgun, and when Kness asked Highfill to “secure the shotgun in a safe location away from the guests,” words were exchanged and Kness allegedly was struck by Highfill with a glass bottle across the left cheek of his face.

Kness said 39 stitches were required to close the resulting cut.

Kness alleges Highfill’s “unlawful and intentional” actions led to permanent disfigurement, and he is seeking actual and exemplary damages for past and future medical expenses, lost wages, disability, disfigurement and pain and suffering. Kness alleges intentional action causing injury, negligence and assault and battery, and has requested a jury trial.

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