Ag Law Case Annotations :: Contracts
Shaw-Kennedy, et al. v. Hunter, No. 2013AP121, 2013 Wis. App. LEXIS 783 (Wis. Ct. App. Sept. 19, 2013)(plaintiffs’ horse leased for breeding but could enter horse competitions if health permitted; terms of lease did not provide for lease payments, but for defendant to pay all horse-related expenses; horse bred to of defendant’s mares and later entered horse competitions which increased value of any future breedings; plaintiff funded some competition costs and defendant claimed existence of oral agreement to continued competition funding and that defendant could keep horse; at time plaintiff sued for return of horse, defendant had obtained frozen semen from horse with low viability rate; trial court granted replevin action for plaintiff and ruled that lease, by its terms, had expired; on appeal, court held that defendant failed to prove unjust enrichment claim – low viability of semen and defendant had received two offspring at no charge).
Gold'n Plump Farms v. Wenda Am., No. 12-3198 (JRT/LIB), 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 133902 (D. Min. Sept. 19, 2013)(supplier sold USDA-approved food ingredients to poultry company, which used the ingredients to process poultry products before shipping them to its corporate affiliate for sale to the public; case involves lawsuit over poultry company's receipt of shipment mistakenly containing non-approved food ingredient, which poultry company inadvertently used to process thousands of pounds of poultry; USDA ultimately required affiliate to destroy misbranded product, and affiliate sued supplier for breach of contract and breach of warranty as a third-party beneficiary; supplier filed third-party complaint for breach of contract and contribution against poultry company, and poultry company responded with six counterclaims, five of which sought declaratory judgments that the supplier had breached its contract and warranties and that it was required to indemnify poultry company for any losses; in dismissing the five counterclaims, court found that they were not ripe for adjudication because poultry company’s potential damages were “speculative and contingent,” as opposed to “certainly impending” since it was possible that poultry company would owe nothing to the affiliate; finding not overcome by fact that poultry company had voluntarily agreed to pay its affiliate the amount of any damages not recovered from the supplier).
CNJ Distributing Corp. v. D & F Farms, Inc., No. DA 13-0068, 2013 Mont. LEXIS 387 (Mont. Sup. Ct. Sept. 17, 2013)(ranch owner filed a breach of contract action against custom seeder, alleging that the custom seeder’s poor performance was the cause of failed barley crop; custom seeder filed a third-party action against seed supplier, arguing failure to instruct; the third-party complaint was settled, and the trial court found that the custom seeder did not breach its contract with the ranch owner; in affirming, the Montana Supreme Court found the trial court did not err by ruling that the custom seeder did not breach the contract by failing to object to the rocky field conditions; field preparation was the responsibility of the ranch owner and the seed supplier; the trial court also did not err in finding that having seed on the ground and inconsistent placement were foreseeable consequences of the field conditions and not indicative of a legally-deficient performance; trial court had not accepted an impossibility defense; custom seeder performed, and its performance was acceptable within the contract terms under the circumstances).
Keahole Point Fish LLC v. Skretting Canada Inc., et al., No. 11-00675 KSC, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 126290 (D. Haw. Sept. 4, 2013)(plaintiff, a fish farm, sued defendant, fish feed manufacturer, in tort and contract based on issues with fish feed defendant supplied to plaintiff; defendant hired to prepare custom fish feed for plaintiff, successor in interest to original buyer of custom feed; plaintiff claimed that level of fishmeal in fish food insufficient and ultimately switched to buying food from different company; plaintiff claimed that health of fish improved after switch and claimed that was evidence of defendant's negligence and breach of contract warranties; defendant countersued for breach of contract; court determined that plaintiff's claims not preempted by Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) because material issue of fact existed as to whether defendant could have manufactured fish food containing the contracted level of fishmeal and taurine without supplementation - summary judgment on issue denied; plaintiff's tort-based claims barred by economic loss doctrine because plaintiff seeking damages for lost profits rather than physical injury to plaintiff's fish; summary judgment denied on plaintiff's breach of implied warranty claims).
Beaverkettle Farms, LTD., v. Chesapeake Appalachia, LLC, No. 4:11CV02631, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124509 (N.D. Ohio Aug. 30, 2013)(plaintiff owns over 4,000 acres and entered into oil and gas lease with company in 2004 that assigned lease to defendant; plaintiff sued to have lease nullified on basis that it did not anticipate use of fracking; plaintiff had earlier transferred some of subject property into conservation easements with state DNR to protect areas around creek and associated tributaries from development; lease agreement barred drilling near creek and associated streams and gave plaintiff right to approve drilling sites; plaintiff construed delay rental clause to require drilling to commence on or before May 5, 2011, but defendant disagreed with that interpretation; in early 2011, defendant notified plaintiff of plans to horizontal drill from another property that would go under plaintiff’s property and that drill site was larger than allowed in lease; plaintiff sought to nullify lease on basis that defendant had not paid in full for delayed drilling on balance of property and that plaintiff had not approved horizontal drill site and that fracking not anticipated in lease; court denied both parties’ motions for summary judgment because genuine issues of material fact exist as to whether plaintiff unreasonably withheld or delayed approval for drill site which means reserves for trial issue of whether defendant properly extended lease beyond primary term; likewise, genuine issue of material fact exists as to parties’ understanding of meaning of “delay rental” as used in lease, so issue of whether defendant required to tender delay rental payments during secondary term to be resolved at trial).
Bloomquist v. The Goose River Bank, et al., No. 20130059, 2013 N.D. LEXIS 157 (N.D. Sup. Ct. Aug. 29, 2013)(plaintiff was tenant on farmland that was going to be sold; plaintiff talked with president of defendant about obtaining loan for purchase of property and claimed that defendant agreed to make loan with specified interest rate and 30-year repayment period; plaintiff was successful bidder at auction, but defendant did not make loan to allow plaintiff to complete purchase transaction; plaintiff sued for breach of contract; trial court ruled for defendant on basis that statute of frauds barred action; on appeal, court affirmed; alleged contract could not be performed within one year, no partial performance by simply bidding on property at auction and paying earnest money and funds for earnest money came from pre-existing line of credit).
Brash v. Gulleson, No. 20120313, 2013 N.D. LEXIS 142 (N.D. Sup. Ct. Aug. 29, 2013)(plaintiff ran cows on defendant’s ranch via oral 60/40 share arrangement; defendant cared for and fed livestock in return for 60 percent of calf crop; plaintiff, a veterinarian, provided veterinarian services; in fall of 1997, plaintiff supervised inventory and evaluation of cows on ranch in which plaintiff had 108 cows; written lease executed in 2000 with plaintiff to provide 130 cows to be cared for by defendant with plaintiff receiving 40 percent of calf crop; plaintiff died in 2004 and defendant returned seven of plaintiff’s cows; plaintiff’s estate representative sued for breach of contract; trial court determined that plaintiff failed to furnish 130 cows as contractually required amounting to failure of consideration and the estate representative did not prove defendant’s breach; appellate court affirmed).
Atkeson v. T & K Lands, LLC, et al., No. A147936, 2013 Ore. App. LEXIS 1048 (Ore. Ct. App. Aug. 28, 2013)(plaintiff executed a contract to purchase tract from defendant in “as is” condition; before sale plaintiff hired lawyer to investigate tract and learned, post-sale, that some improvements on tract were constructed without permits or otherwise violated zoning laws and that land contained wetlands; plaintiff paid for some required changes to tract and sued seller for contract rescission based on misrepresentation and mutual mistake; defendant claimed that plaintiff’s lawyer knew about issues wither respect to tract and the such knowledge imputed to plaintiff; trial court granted summary judgment to defendant, and appellate court affirmed; attorney’s knowledge imputed to client under agency theory).
Smith v. Smith, et al., No. 3-565/13-0063, 2013 Iowa App. LEXIS 924 (Iowa Ct. App. Aug. 21, 2013)(plaintiff, tenant under crop-share lease with father, sued brothers and a corporation of one brother when parents conveyed two-thirds of leased land to one brother via contract and other third to same brother via gift; plaintiff claimed contract unconscionable, that contract constituted conversion of the land due to inadequate consideration, that brothers tortiously interfered with plaintiff’s business and inheritance, and intentionally or negligently inflicted emotional distress; trial court granted summary judgment for defendants; plaintiff’s unconscionability claim barred because plaintiff not party to contract and parents testified as to satisfaction with contract; conversion claim fails for same reason; no wrongful interference with plaintiff’s possessory interest and contract price irrelevant; tortious interference with contract claim fails due to lack of proof that defendants entered into purchase contract to buy land with purpose of interfering with plaintiff’s lease agreement; claim for tortious interference with bequest fails because due to lack of evidence that parents intended to leave farmland to plaintiff or that parents incompetent to amend will; no intentional infliction of emotional distress due to lack of evidence of invasion of legally protected interest of plaintiff by willful and malicious conduct).
Topflight Grain Cooperative, Inc. v. RJW Williams Farms, Inc., No. 4-12-1079, 2013 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1753 (Ill. Ct. App. Aug. 13, 2012)(a grain cooperative challenged a trial court order dismissing its application to compel arbitration in a dispute arising under a contract for the sale of 100,000 bushels of corn by a farming company to the cooperative; the farming company alleged that the contract was unenforceable under the statute of frauds because the contract was unsigned and the farming company had received no written confirmation; in reversing the trial court’s holding that there was no enforceable contract under the statute of frauds, 810 ILCS 5/2-201(2), the court found that a question of fact existed as to whether the farming company received a written confirmation of the oral contract from the cooperative; the case was remanded for further proceedings).
Fish Farms Partnership v. Winston-Weaver Co., Inc., No. 12-6593, 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 17144 (6th Cir. Aug. 16, 2013)(plaintiff operates tomato farm and sued defendant for monetary damages arising from harm to tomato plants caused by alleged defective fertilizer; trial court granted summary judgment to defendant due to lack of evidence on causal connection; appellate court affirmed).
613 Agro Holdings, LLC v. Renick, No. 12-2425-JAR-KMH, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 35917 (D. Kan. Mar. 14, 2013)(6,682 acres sold at auction via auction company; sale brochure delivered to plaintiff said that defendant seller would convey certain mineral rights along with the real estate; plaintiff relied on representations in brochure and paid $8.9 million for the land and mineral rights advertised in brochure and purchase agreement executed same day; purchase agreement contained integration clause stating that final bids subject to sellers' acceptance or rejection, and that seller warranted that they were selling 100 percent of their ownership in the mineral rights being sold; all real estate sold "as is"; transaction closed and two years later, plaintiff discovered it had not acquired mineral rights; mineral rights were actually owned by separate branch of seller’s family that had transferred them to an LLC which then leased them to another entity in return for bonus lease payments and future royalty payments; buyer’s attorneys did not conduct mineral title search ; plaintiff sued for breach of warranty deed and seisin, breach of purchase agreement, breach of auction sale agreement, fraud, reformation of purchase agreement and specific performance; and defendant moved to dismiss claim based on breach of auction sale agreement and court granted motion because purchase agreement's integration clause was clear and unambiguous and barred separate contract action based on earlier oral or written assurances not incorporated into purchase agreement and neither alleged oral agreement or auction brochure incorporated into purchase agreement; auction brochure stated that purchase agreement controlled terms of sale; plaintiff can pursue contract remedy for breach of purchase agreement; on fraud claim that defendant's held themselves out as owning mineral rights that they promised to convey (plaintiff claimed that the family of sellers represented that actual part of the family that sold the land held mineral rights, but they actually did not (it was the non-contracting members of the family that held the mineral rights)); defendant’s motion to dismiss claim of fraud in inducement denied; defendant's motion for judgment on pleadings with respect to reformation and specific performance of purchase agreement claims denied).
Wojtalewicz v. Pioneer Hi Bred International Inc., No. 8:12CV76, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 34639 (D. Neb. Mar. 13, 2013)(district court upheld magistrate judge ruling staying proceedings and holding that arbitration required for dispute between seed company and purchasers under terms of contract received and accepted by purchasers; arbitration of non-purchaser plaintiffs complaints also required because purchasers of seed acted as agents for nonpurchasers; nonpurchasers also held to arbitration agreement because they sought to enforce rights under seed sale contract, thus they were estopped from picking and choosing enforcement of provisions in contract).
Total E&P USA, Inc. v. Kerr-McGee Oil and Gas Corp., No. 11-30038, 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 4963 (5th Cir. Mar. 12, 2013)(court overturned grant of summary judgment in favor of oil drillers; "calculate and pay" clause in oil contract was ambiguous regarding whether overriding royalties were suspended along with government's interest under Deep Water Royalty Relief Act; case remanded for factual inquiry regarding intent of parties; dissent filed stating provision was not ambiguous and royalties should be suspended).
The Turfgrass Group, Inc. v. Carolina Fresh Farms, Inc., No. 5:10-cv-00849-JMC, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33098 (D.S.C. Mar. 11, 2013)(plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment denied due to questions of fact on claims related to Plant Variety protection Act, Lanham Act violations and breach of contract for sales of turf grass after agreement terminated defendants' ability to sell TifBlair brand turf grass).
Big Dutchman Inc. v. Midwest Livestock Systems, Inc., 1:12-CV-288, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27392 (W.D. Mich. Feb. 28, 2013)(plaintiff manufactured A-frame chicken cages, which defendant installed for customers; a dispute arose regarding the structural integrity of the A-frame cages that defendant had installed for a customer; defendant argued problems caused by plaintiff and plaintiff believed defendant's negligent installation allowed for rusting; a settlement agreement was reached between plaintiff and defendant concerning some claims made by defendant's customers in which plaintiff agreed to provide parts and defendant agreed to indemnify plaintiff; additional parts had rust issues and the customers received parts directly from plaintiff; plaintiff notified defendant regarding the claims, but defendant did not respond and plaintiff settled the claim; defendant brought summary judgment motion to plaintiff's claim for contractual indemnity; court held indemnification agreement was solely for claims arising from rusting brackets and later claims were for legs and cross arms, which were not covered by the agreement; court also held that plaintiff's decision to settle the claim was unreasonable as a matter if law because there was an statute of limitations issue, which would have been an absolute defense to the claims; plaintiff had no legal exposure on the claim; plaintiff's suit dismissed with prejudice).
Pierpoint Farms, Inc. v. Domestic Energy Partners, No. 12-4003-RDR, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28094 (D. Kan. Mar. 1, 2013)(cross motions for summary judgment filed in gas lease dispute; court held plain meaning of lease stated that gross proceeds are to be paid and these would be determined by purchase price not price received without delivery charges, but questions of fact remained regarding whether the sale of gas was made to an affiliate of lessee; court also held that contract required payment per rod for each pipeline when two rods were placed in same trench).
Peterson v. Gentillon, No. 38878 2013, 2013 Ida. LEXIS 64 (Ida. Sup. Ct. Feb. 26, 2013)(partnership sought specific performance of agreement to exchange parcels pursuant to survey to ensure adequate room for center-pivot irrigation; deeds not transferred and property sold to third party; third party brought suit to quiet title in disputed parcel; trial court held statute of limitations had run against partnership's claim and ruled in favor of third party; appellate court held that because partnership was in possession of property, five-year statute of limitations does not bar lawsuit for specific performance; appellate court also held that 50 foot strip of property was held in trust for partnership and belonged to partnership; court also held it was error for trial court to determine third party easement was 30 feet when evidence insufficient to determine, so that issue was remanded; court also overturned injunction on partnership from spraying ingress and egress road with water from its center pivot because evidence showed water did not materially impede third party from using road; court declined attorney fee award for either party).
Smith v. Genetic Depot, Inc., No. 11-cv-273, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23961 (D. Minn. Feb. 20, 2013)(plaintiff’s motion for leave to amend complaint involving breeding hog contract in which company provided to plaintiff boar semen containing disease that caused damage to breeding stock; court allowed amendment to reflect defendant’s name change as it was uncontested; court denied motion to add breach of contract claim based on additional agreement because it would require use of extrinsic evidence to vary unambiguous terms of contract not permitted under choice of law provision jurisdiction or state law in which suit was brought; court denied motion to add negligent misrepresentation claims as futile; claim based on negligence, so no claim allowed under state law and no duty owed to plaintiff regarding information; fraudulent misrepresentation claim also fails because no allegations that defendant knew statements made were false).
Lewes Investment Company, L.L.C. v. Estate of Graves, et al., No. 2893-VCG, 2013 Del. Ch. LEXIS 42 (Del. Chanc. Ct. Feb. 12, 2013)(case involves contract to develop farm owned by defendants; plaintiff entered into purchase contract for $13 million; under contract, plaintiff could walk away from transaction after "due diligence" period and defendant would retain down payment of $650,000; if defendant breached contract, down payment forfeited and defendant liable for plaintiff's costs; plaintiff given right of specific performance under contract; as plaintiff sought financing and regulatory approval real estate market went south; at time when plaintiff not ready to go to closing, plaintiff demanded that defendant cure title defect even though defendant under no obligation to do so until closing; plaintiff sued for breach even though no closing scheduled and buyer still wanting to go forward with contract; defendant cleared title and made demand to proceed to settlement and plaintiff sued for return of downpayment and costs; court determined that plaintiff merely trying to force defendant to provide cost-free option period and that defendant not in breach; judgment for defendant).
Davis v. Archer Daniels Midland Co., et al., No. 1:12-cv-348, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14361 (W.D. Mich. Feb. 4, 2013)(plaintiff sued in tort and contract for alleged sale of defective (moldy) pig feed by defendant; defendant moved to dismiss the tort-based claims under the economic loss doctrine; motion granted).
Peace River Seed Co-Operative, Ltd. v. Proseeds Marketing, Inc., No. A144564, 2012 Ore. App. LEXIS 1461 (Ore. Ct. App. Dec. 5, 2012)(appeal of trial court decision in contract dispute; plaintiff had contract with defendant to sell grass seed to defendant; defendant breached contract; plaintiff stored excess seed for several years but finally sold some seed overage; appellate court agreed trial court erred in not awarding damages to plaintiff under UCC, which would have been difference between contract price and market price on date of breach; trial court also erred in failing to award attorney fees based on lack of pleading because the request was properly plead; appellate court held that choice of law required reviewing contract under Oregon law because contract silent; court held whether contract language provided for attorney fees under recovery of “charges for collection” was ambiguous and remanded case to trial court to determine meaning).
The Morsheiser Family Revocable Living Trust v. Anschutz Exploration Corp., No. 5:12 CV 1734, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 156083 (N.D. Ohio Oct. 31, 2012)(ruling on defendant’s motion to dismiss various claims in contract dispute regarding mineral-rights lease on plaintiff’s land; plaintiff sought reformation of the contract but court held no evidence contract failed to state intention of parties, so reformation not viable and claim dismissed; plaintiff sought nullification of the contract as contrary to public policy because it was solicited by an unlicensed real estate broker, but court held contract unaffected by this as proper remedy would be to preclude broker from recovering fee and claim dismissed; plaintiff argued contract was unconscionable because trustees who signed lease were elderly, uneducated, and in poor health and contract unreasonably favors defendants; court held allegations sufficient to survive motion to dismiss; court also denied claim to deem a judicial ascertainment clause void as against public policy as established by state law; court also held because plaintiff did not assent to assignment of lease that defendant remains bound by the contract).
Hoffbauer, et al. v. Farmers Cooperative, No. A-11-962, 2012 Neb. App. LEXIS 190 (Neb. Ct. App. Oct. 2, 2012)(generic glyphosate sold by defendant to plaintiff and applied to land that plaintiff farmed; after application, corn crop died and plaintiff sued to recover damages on negligence, breach of implied warranty of merchantability and breach of express warranty theories; trial court granted summary judgment for defendant, but appellate court reversed and remanded case; plaintiff presented a viable theory that defendant supplied plaintiff with a contaminated 121-gallon container of generic glyphosate; genuine issue of material fact exists as to how ACCase inhibitor reached plaintiff's corn and trial court erred in granting summary judgment to defendant on negligence and breach of warranty claims).
Cargill, Inc. v. Kurt Kroeger, No. 8:11CV81, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 138053 (D. Neb. Sept. 26, 2012)(judgment as a matter of law granted to plaintiff on contract claim; defendant admitted contract with plaintiff for crop inputs and that no payment had been made; no evidence that warranty or representation regarding “target” yields to be met were made by plaintiff and defendant not entitled to withhold payment due to any misrepresentation; insufficient evidence presented that application of manganese by plaintiff did not result in manganese toxicity and cause reduced yields; evidence instead showed farm consistently underperformed, manganese toxicity in corn in state had never been documented, and only soil sample presented by defendant “had literally been baked” in defendant’s oven).
Indemnity Insurance Co. of North America v. Deere and Co., No. 2:11-CV-00260-GHD-JMV, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135890 (N.D. Miss. Sept. 24, 2012)(three cotton pickers caught fire in area of machine where lint and debris could collect, but was difficult to clean without disassembly; machines were destroyed and plaintiff paid owner for losses; plaintiff brought claim as subrogee to recover for costs of machinery paid to owners; defendant filed motion to dismiss or summary judgment; defendant’s attempted disclaimer of implied warranties were not valid under state law, so they did not protect from claims made; under plaintiff’s claim of breach of implied warranty, court held defendant was a merchant and manufacturer under state law and questions of fact remained as to whether cotton pickers were merchantable at time of sale and whether notice of alleged breach was given to defendant with given opportunity to correct, so claim survived summary judgment; plaintiff’s claim of implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose, however, was dismissed because cotton pickers were purchased to pick cotton, their ordinary use, so there was no proof of the claim).
Wells v. Lorenz Farm Services, Inc., No. 4:12CV3085, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 133646 (D.Neb. Sept. 19, 2012)(motion to transfer venue due to improper venue and inconvenient forum; litigation involves breach of hay delivery agreement; defendants failed to raise improper venue in a pre-answer motion or in the answer, so issue waived; court held Nebraska was not an inconvenient forum because plaintiff’s witnesses from state, witnesses traveling from states closer to Nebraska than proposed venue, and contract required delivery through the state; motion denied).
Boeuf River Farms v. Browder, No. 2012 Ark. App 482, 2012 Ark. App. LEXIS 609 (Ark. Ct. App. Sept. 12, 2012)(contract dispute regarding proceeds of wheat crop; tenant brought action against landlord for statements made to grain elevator regarding ownership of crop which caused damages to tenant; landlord failed to timely answer petition; tenant filed motion for default; landlord filed untimely answer and counterclaim; court held default judgment against landlord should be entered and counterclaim should be dismissed; on appeal, court disagreed with landlord’s contention that condition precedent must be pled in a valid contract action; court agreed counterclaim was compulsory because based on same contract and untimely, so dismissal was appropriate; district court judgment affirmed).
Baird v. Crop Production Services, Inc., No. 2012 Ohio 4022, 2012 Ohio App. LEXIS 3522 (Ohio Ct. App. Sept, 4, 2012)(appeal from small claims action in which court held contract for spraying 19-acre plot existed; damage occurred and both parties bore responsibility for the damage - the plaintiff for failing to inspect his fields and the defendant for failing to spray, plaintiff granted half damage award; on appeal, court upheld entire judgment as not against manifest weight of evidence).
Boeuf River Farm, Inc. v. High Pressure Ridge Farms, Inc., etc., No. 5:12CV00153 JLH, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 120261 (E.D. Ark. Aug. 24, 2012)(case involves plaintiff’s attempt to collect from defendant for unpaid rent for leased farmland; defendant failed to timely file responsive pleading; 23 days after filing deadline, plaintiff notified defendant’s counsel of intent to seek default judgment; upon receiving no response, motion for default filed next day; defendant filed answer; three days later defendant filed answer and motions for extension of time to file answer; court allowed extension of time noting that 27 days late was only “marginal” under Eighth Circuit caselaw).
KLR Angus, LLC v. 4S Farms, LLC, No. 12-CV-0309-CVE-PJC, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 118486 (N.D. Okla. Aug. 22, 2012)(case involves defendant’s motion to dismiss plaintiff’s claims for lack of personal jurisdiction; defendant is MO LLC and claims to have insufficient contacts with OK to allow court to exercise personal jurisdiction; defendant entered into two contracts with plaintiff, an OK business, and plaintiff claims that defendant could reasonably foresee that it could be sued in OK; parties entered into hay purchase agreement with defendant agreeing to sell 1,200 hay bales to plaintiff for $114,000 with deliver to be at plaintiff’s business in Finley, OK; defendant delivered 102 bales as of specified delivery date and refused to refund purchase price (which had to be paid in advance); second contract entered into for 2,000 bales at $60/bale, with purchase price pre-paid, but plaintiff could pick up bales in MO; ultimately, plaintiff sued for breach of both contracts to recover pre-paid purchase price; court determines that contracts sufficient to establish that defendant has substantial connection with OK to give court personal jurisdiction over defendant; defendant did not establish that it would not be unreasonable for court to exercise personal jurisdiction over defendant).
Biegler v. Kraft, CIV 1130, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98997 (D. S.D. Jul. 17, 2012)(defendants attempted to sell property consisting of 314 acres, buildings, and a home in South Dakota through a two-step auction process; two highest bidders after closed bidding came to make final bids at attorney’s office; defendants sought to assign a high portion of purchase price to value of home to avoid capital gains taxes; plaintiffs objected to amount assigned in draft purchase agreement and were told it could be negotiated; after placing highest bid, agreement could not be reached on value of home and when negotiations fell apart plaintiffs canceled transfer of all earnest money; plaintiffs brought suit for specific performance of contract; defendants sought summary judgment; court held plaintiffs claim for partial performance was denied as no performance occurred by them when earnest money transaction canceled by plaintiffs; summary judgment denied as to whether sufficient terms were agreed to in auction setting to defeat statute of frauds; court also unable to determine whether allocation of price of home was essential term upon which to agree in order to establish binding contract for sale).
Waddle v. Elrod, No M009-02142-SC-R11-CV, 2012 WL 1406451 (Tenn. Sup. Ct. Apr. 24, 2012)(action brought to enforce settlement agreement reached before trial that included transfer of real property; adverse party sought to void agreement under Statute of Frauds; court held Statute of Frauds applies to settlement agreements involving any transfer of interest in real property; electronic writings between parties analyzed under state electronic communications statute and were deemed signed writings sufficient to satisfy Statute of Frauds; settlement agreement enforced).
Brooks Cotton Co., Inc. v. Williams, No. W2011-01415-COA-R9-CV, 2012 WL 1392370 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 23, 2012)(farmer allegedly entered into oral agreement to sell cotton crop, but failed to deliver to plaintiff; plaintiff sued and farmer argued oral contract unenforceable under Statute of Frauds; plaintiff filed summary judgment motion to resolve issue that farmer was merchant for purposes of exception to Statute of Frauds under UCC; trial court granted motion determining farmer was merchant; farmer appealed and argued statute did not include farmers within definition of merchants; appellate court held that experienced commercial farmers in state could fall within definition of merchant for purposes of exception; appellate court, however, reversed trial court order and remanded for trial because fact question presented regarding whether farmer was merchant, which was incapable of resolution by summary judgment).
Southern States Cooperative, Inc. v. Melick Aquafeeds, Inc., No. 11-12296, 2012 WL 1320118 (11th Cir. Apr. 17, 2012)(fish farm brought breach of warranty suit against supplier for providing feed not meeting guarantees of fat and protein ratio causing decline in fish growth; competing experts testified regarding causal link between food and fish growth; defendant filed motion for directed verdict, which was deferred; jury returned verdict of $770,229.30 in lost profits for fish farm; defendant renewed motion, which was denied; defendant appealed two issues: trial court’s admission of expert’s testimony because theories were unscientific and unreliable and impermissible damages awarded; appellate court held expert’s testimony did not create substantial prejudice to defendant and no specificity of deficiencies in expert’s scientific analysis provided; award sufficiently proved through evidence that plaintiff’s expenses remained stable but profits lost in amount jury awarded; appellate court affirmed on both issues).
T.W. Phillips Gas and Oil Co. v. Jedlicka, 42 A.3d 261 (Pa. Sup. Ct. 2012)(lessor brought declaratory judgment to declare oil and gas lease terminated because prior lessee failed to maintain production “in paying quantities” when loss of $40 occurred one year in 1950s; suit filed after new lessee made plans to drill additional wells on property; appellate court relying on Young v. Forest Oil Co., 45 A. 121 (Pa. 1899), held that when production on well has been marginal or sporadic, such that for some period profits did not exceed operating costs, the phrase “in paying quantities” must be construed with reference to operator's good faith judgment; lower court judgment affirmed on consideration of operator's good faith judgment and conclusion oil and gas lease at issue produced in paying quantities; dissent disagreed with court’s interpretation of Young and called for two-part test for determining paying quantities: profits must exceed operating expenses and if profits exceed operating expenses, then lessee's good faith judgment is considered).
Nordhues v. Maulsby, 815 N.W.2d 175 (Neb. Ct. App. 2012)(following loss of 140 cattle in a replevin action in which the court held that under Nebraska law, no valid title to cattle passed to plaintiff through series of sales in Missouri and Nebraska started by seller who was entrusted with care and breeding of cattle, but not for sale of cattle, plaintiff brought suit against seller for indemnification; all sellers cross-appealed in linear order of sale except no claim brought against original seller because he was bankrupt; court determined action should be decided pursuant to Missouri law; Missouri allows merchants to sell entrusted goods (Nebraska requires specific intention for sale); stipulations made by parties that if original sale generated good title, then all subsequent sales were valid; court held original sale was to a buyer in the ordinary course without knowledge of any issues with title, therefore all subsequent sales were valid; court acknowledged discrepancy between replevin action and outcome of this claim, but plaintiff failed to plead res judicata and two cases were determined by different a state’s law).
James, et al. v. Tyson Foods, Inc., 2012 OK 21 (Okla. Sup. Ct. 2012)(suit between contracted poultry growers and defendant, multinational food manufacturer, claiming violations of state (OK) Consumer Protection Act (Act); trial court jury rendered $10 million verdict for growers; trial court denied defendant's motion for new trial; on appeal, court agreed false and misleading statements existed on jury questionnaires about which attorneys were barred from asking questions during voir dire resulting in unfair trial; court also held contract poultry growers were not “aggrieved consumers” in accordance with Act; Act requires party to be both buyer and consumer; defendant retained title to chickens, feed, and medicines; poultry growers neither purchased nor sold anything; court determined mere service contract did not, by definition, fall within protections of Act and poultry growers have no claim; new trial granted to defendant).
Sepulski v. McGowan, No. 2009-CA-001148, 2012 Ky. App. Unpub. LEXIS 120 (Ky. Ct. App. Feb. 10, 2012)(plaintiff owns two race horses, and contracted with defendant to care for and train the horses; contract between the parties stated that plaintiff remained responsible for all expenses incurred by the horses; defendant claimed that plaintiff failed to pay for care of horses over a two-year period; plaintiff filed counterclaim that defendant breached contract by failing to properly care for and train the horses; trial court ruled for defendant on breach of contract claim; appellate court reversed based on lack of evidence to support trial court judgment).
Maddox v. Vantage Energy, LLC, 361 S.W.3d 752(Tex. Ct. App. 2012)(plaintiffs, homeowners residing in neighborhood association associated with non-profit formed to negotiate with energy companies for mineral rights to drill natural gas, sued defendant (oil and gas company) for breach of contract, promissory estoppel and negligent misrepresentation upon not being offered contracts on same terms and conditions as some neighbors; defendant backed out of contracts (lease agreements) upon precipitous drop in natural gas prices; trial court dismissed claim for negligent misrepresentation; on appeal, court held that plaintiffs lacked standing on breach of contract claim and on promissory estoppel claim, and affirmed trial court on negligent misrepresentation issue; defendant and non-profit contracted between themselves only and plaintiffs did not sign any documents or pay dues to become member of non-profit; no clear contractual intent to benefit third parties present).
West Plains Co. v. Jelinek, No. A-10-1179, 2012 Neb. App. LEXIS 15 (Neb. Ct. App. Jan. 31, 2012)(appellate review of denial of motion for new trial; trial involved questions regarding whether a roll-over contract for Number 2 grade corn existed, costs to cover corn after roll-over contract not fulfilled, claims of errors in admission of evidence, improper closing arguments, juror misconduct, and unsupported damages award; district court affirmed on all counts).
Cebe Farms, Ind. v. United States, 103 Fed. Cl. 174 (Fed. Cl. 2012) (plaintiff and USDA negotiated agreement that industry appraisals would serve as compensation for plaintiff’s niche breeding stock of colored broiler chickens to be destroyed in government action to eradicate Exotic Newcastle Disease outbreak in California; defendant alleged USDA breached its contract to pay compensation based on industry appraisal, but USDA paid half of lowest appraisal; USDA claimed no contract formed and sought dismissal of plaintiff’s claim; defendant’s motion for judgment on the pleadings for breach of contract claim denied because plaintiff alleged all requisite elements of a contract in the pleadings).
Soloman v. Taylor, et al., 937 N.Y.S.2d 408 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2012)(plaintiff, recreational, but experienced, horseback rider, assumed inherent risk of being thrown from horse; horse boarded at stable where dogs known to be present that could spook horses; plaintiff’s theory of strict liability based on vicious propensities rejected).
Smith, et al. v. Arrington Oil & Gas, 664 F.3d 1208 (8th Cir. 2012)(Arkansas landowners seek summary judgment against defendant for defendant’s failure to pay cash bonuses of $300 per acre in addition to royalty payments in accordance with oil and gas leases; landowners executed leases and defendant failed to pay on bank drafts because it had made determination to abandon oil and gas exploration in the county after drilling dry well; trial court granted summary judgment on finding that lease agreements were binding and only subject to defendant’s good faith approval of title and cancellation unrelated to title; appellate court affirmed; language of written oil and gas leases coupled with bank draft issued to pay cash bonus constituted enforceable contracts; mutuality of obligation present even though bank draft contained “no-liability” clause because such clause contrary to language in lease; lease agreements were accepted in accordance with approval language and renunciation of lease does not preclude enforceability).
Beaudoin v. JB Mineral Services, LLC, 2011 N.D. 229 (2011)(oil and gas lease found to have terminated by its terms due to “unless” clause in lease; plaintiff entitled to statutory damages, costs and fees; lease specified that lease would terminate 120 business days from date of “notarized signature” unless defendant paid or tendered $45 per net mineral acre as a “supplemental bonus payment” before the termination date; lease executed and notarized on Jul. 20, 2009, but payment of sight draft required further authorization by defendant which defendant did not give; revised lease sent to plaintiff on Jan. 6, 2010 stating that plaintiff owned 3.68 fewer mineral acres than the amount covered in the original lease and extending term or original lease by six months; revised lease not executed and second sight draft not presented for payment; “unless” clause did not state condition subsequent upon which lease may be forfeited, but is construed as clause of special limitation; lease terminated automatically upon non-payment of bonus without need for any notice or demand on lessor’s part).
White v. Strange, 80 So.3d 1189 (Miss. Ct. App. 2011)(parties entered into contract to buy and sell real estate; valid contract executed that gave buyer eight days to inspect property and terminate transaction in writing; buyer indicated termination of contract via e-mail during eight-day period, but continued to arrange for inspections; court held the Uniform Electronic Transmission Act only applicable if all parties to transaction agree to conduct transaction by electronic means either in writing or by conduct; listing agreement for property at issue contained box that could be checked (but wasn’t) indicating that seller did not permit electronic signatures; e-mail insufficient to constitute “writing” that would terminate purchase contract under facts of case).
In re Pilgrims Pride Corporation, No. 4:11-CV-333-A, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 145916 (N.D. Tex. Dec. 19, 2011)(chicken contract growers’ claims in bankruptcy denied – promissory estoppel claims lacked legal merit; in spite of contact language indicating otherwise, growers claimed recovery from debtor based on statements made to growers by debtors’ employees that each grower “would receive chickens as long as he met the company’s requirement” and that debtor was “here for the long haul”; as such, growers claimed statements meant that contracts would remain in effect for a time period long enough for each grower to earn enough income under the contract to cover their cost of rendering performance under each contract; subject of statements are express elements of contracts; contracts specific and complete and specify that type of damages growers’ claim not recoverable).
Augur v. Augur, 90 A.D.3d 1111 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2011)(case involves son lawsuit against parents for constructive trust based on alleged promise by father that farm would be gifted to son upon father’s retirement in return for son’s labor in lieu of regular pay; son worked on farm for 26 years before bringing suit; trial court granted summary judgment for father and dismissed case; on appeal, court reversed; elements of constructive trust are (1) confidential or fiduciary relationship; (2) promise; (3) transfer in reliance on promise; and (4) unjust enrichment; while parents presented sufficient evidence to shift burden to son to establish triable issue of fact on each element of constructive trust (such as son choosing to work on farm after high school graduate of own free will, receipt of several vehicles, rent-free use of farm property for son’s fertilizer spraying business and son’s retention of crop profits), son established that he worked long hours without regular pay, obtained necessary environmental permits and licenses and made substantial financial contributions in furtherance of farm business; confidential relationship present; requirement of transfer satisfied where son has no prior interest in farm, but does contribute funds, time or effort to property in reliance on promise to receive an interest in the subject property; factual questions remain on issue of unjust enrichment of parents).
Maday v. Grathwohl, et al., 805 N.W.2d 285 (Minn. Ct. App. 2011)(parties entered into manure easement agreement over plaintiff’s property with plaintiff receiving reduced fertilizer costs and expenses in return, but did not require plaintiff to pay for manure or require defendant to provide manure; when not all manure used in 2009 and 2010, defendant sold unused manure to third parties and plaintiff sued claiming right to unused manure based on oral agreement; trial court granted summary judgment for defendant because evidence related to oral agreement was inadmissible parol evidence; appellate court affirmed on basis that oral agreement addressed same subject matter as written easement and was inconsistent; easement contained integration clause).
Marcus v. Seinder, 2011 Ohio 5592 (Ohio Sup. Ct. 2011)(plaintiff (borrower in the midst of bankruptcy) got approval from bankruptcy court to receive loan from lender so that borrower could retain farm; loan secured by farm; bankruptcy proceedings terminated and loan later modified and farm later conveyed to lender; borrower sued lender for reformation of associated deed, mortgage and land installment based on lender’s alleged fraudulent conduct arising from parties’ romantic relationship that gave lender opportunity to manipulate transaction and take advantage of borrower; court found significant evidence of plaintiff's knowledge and education in business; court stated plaintiff was knowledgeable in business and financial endeavors, no manipulation in financial decisions present).
Pankratz v. Hoff, 806 N.W.2d 231 (S.D. Sup. Ct. 2011)(plaintiff sued defendants for breach of option contract involving sale of ranch land; defendants, married couple, had agreed to sell part of ranch to plaintiff and leased balance of land (on which their son was part owner) to plaintiff; separate agreement gave plaintiff option buy part of ranch which, when plaintiff exercised option, son refused to agree to sale; son’s parents subsequently partitioned property; purchase price not agreed upon purchase price and plaintiff sued; trial court determined that defendants breached option agreement even though option language ambiguous, parol evidence established that parties intended option price to be average of $500/acre; on appeal, court determined that parties agreed that prorated purchase price to be utilized if lesser amount of acreage sold; trial court erred in using parol evidence to allow different remedy than one provided for by option agreement). parties met several times before execution of any contract; three separate negotiated legal contracts were executed consecutively (sale of property, lease of remaining property, option to purchase remaining property); plaintiff exercised option contract; defendant not sole property interest owner; defendant's son refused to sell his property interest; result was that trial court order of specific performance affirmed, but trial court determination of per acre price reversed and case remanded).
Cargill, Inc. v. Clark, et al., No. 10-487-JJB, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 120181 (M.D. La. Oct. 18, 2011)(case involves various motions by parties and plaintiff's suit to compel arbitration of multiple grain contracts entered into with defendant and defendant's farming operation; plaintiff's motion to compel arbitration granted based on clause in contracts (standard NGFA arbitration clause)).
Lasater v. Hawkins, No. M2010-01495-COA-R3-CV, 2011 Tenn. App. LEXIS 552 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 10, 2011)(defendants appeal a provision in a contract which was also set out in a deed that created a fee simple determinable; plaintiff, Texas attorney, requested Tenn. attorney to include self-enforcing rights if specific conditions were not fulfilled; plaintiff stated provision was to eliminate the possibility of a lawsuit to protect her rights on the issue; defendants raised defenses of waiver, laches, and impossibility of performance, court rejected; plaintiffs failure to assert right for four years does not constitute a presumed waiver; court noted the literal meaning of "clear" and "unambiguous" language in a contract controls).
Standard Bank, PLC v. Runge, Inc., 443 Fed. Appx. 347 (10th Cir. 2011)(plaintiff appeals grant of summary judgment for defendant (engineering firm) that prepared a viability report on coal mine for bank that then financed the coal mine that later went bankrupt; Colorado's economic loss rule to bar a claim is a question of law; rule focuses on source of duty alleged to have been breached; rule can bar recovery in tort cases; plaintiff made no effort to ensure protection after disclaimed liability; plaintiff made no attempt to allocate risk; Colorado Supreme Court had made clear the rule is "to encourage the parties to build the cost considerations into the contract" or no recovery for economic tort damages; court denied plaintiff's request; court affirmed claims were barred by rule).
Neugebauer v. Neugebauer, 2011 S.D. 64 (2011)(son rented 159-acre farm from mother for nearly 20 years at $39.75/acre and, in 2008, purchased farm from her via contract for deed; purchase price was set at 1984 appraised value of $117,000 (price was 1984 option price, which option son did not exercise) with payments of $6,902.98 over 30 years; fair market value of farm was $697,000; purchase contract executed at office of son’s lawyer who never represented that he was only the son’s lawyer and did not suggest that mother obtain her own counsel; mother was 84 at time contract executed, hard of hearing and had only an eight-grade education; mother later became suspicious and sought rescission of contract on basis of undue influence, and damages for breach of pre-contract oral lease; jury decided for son on lease claim and court granted mother’s rescission claim based on presence of confidential relationship and that four elements of undue influence established; court ordered contract rescinded and ordered son to pay rent for 2009 and 2010; decision affirmed on appeal).
Manley v. Meyer, 335 S.W.3d 523 (Mo. Ct. App. 2011) (verbal farm pasture lease agreement; plaintiffs permitted to graze cattle, harvest hay, hunt and ride ATV’s under lease; parties got into dispute and agreed to terminate lease; settlement agreement allowed plaintiffs to access property to remove cattle, but defendants refused to allow removal of all cattle; plaintiffs filed suit for conversion and breach of settlement agreement; defendants appealed trial court judgment in favor of plaintiffs for $28,000 damages and allege insufficient evidence to support damage award, and no evidence to support defendant’s wife liability under any claims; appellate court found substantial evidence to prove wife’s liability and to support trial court damages award because facts presented basis for rational estimate of damages without resorting to speculation).
Monsanto Company and Monsanto Technology, LLC v. Bowman, 657 F.3d 134 (Fed. Cir. 2011), aff'g 686 F. Supp.2d 834 (S.D. Ind. 2009)(patent infringement case brought by plaintiff against farmer for planting progeny of genetically altered seeds covered by U.S. patents; federal district court granted summary judgment in favor of plaintiff and circuit court affirmed; defendant was one of plaintiff’s licensed seed producers and defendant executed technology agreement restricting use of seed; plaintiff discovered defendant’s second crop seeds (progeny of commodity seeds) contained patented Roundup Ready technology; technology agreement specified genetics could only be obtained from Monsanto or licensed dealer; plaintiff argued patent exhaustion, but court found no exemptions for research or saving seed under utility patent).
Reese v. DuSold, et al., No: A10-1942, 2011 Minn. App. Unpub. LEXIS 893 (Minn. Ct. App. Sept. 19, 2011) (trial court erred in finding landowners breached lease; agency relationship existed between tenant and agent throughout formation and execution of lease; agent had apparent authority to receive notice of proposed sale under first-refusal provision on tenant’s behalf; undisputed that landowners provided requisite notice to agent).
Benz Farm, LLP v. Cavendish Farms, Inc., 2011 ND 184 (Sup. Ct. N.D. 2011) (plaintiff appealed from summary judgment dismissing action against defendant for breach of contract and violation of Unlawful Sales of Advertising Practices Act (N.D.C.C. ch. 51-15) and awarding defendant attorney fees; appellate court affirmed, concluding trial court did not err in dismissing plaintiff’s breach of contract claims, Unlawful Sales Act does not apply to, or create cause of action against, a purchaser, and trial court did not err in awarding defendant attorney fees).
Hurtubise v. McPherson, 951 N.E.2d 994 (Mass. Ct. App. 2011) (defendant seller appealed trial court order to complete exchange of land with plaintiff buyer; buyer approached seller proposing land trade to satisfy setback requirements of local zoning ordinance; parties shook hands and buyer proceeded with construction plans; thereafter, seller threatened to demolish building for failure to pay more than amount which parties originally agreed; buyer sought specific performance of contract; seller claimed statute of frauds precluded enforcement of oral agreement and agreement too indefinite for enforcement; appellate court held that buyer occupied parcel and undertook expense of construction in reliance upon agreement; doctrine of part performance applied as exception to statute of frauds; ordered parties to perform on oral agreement).
Buetow, et al., v. A.L.S. Enterprises, Inc., et al., 650 F.3d 1178 (8th Cir. 2011) (case involved market for products that prevent game animals from detecting presence of hunters through use of activated carbon in clothing; defendant, manufacturer and seller of hunting garments, patented active carbon under brand name “Scent-Lok”; plaintiff hunters commenced class action against defendants and three of its licenses (including Cabela’s) alleging that defendant “uniformly misrepresented to consumers that its odor eliminating clothing would not only eliminate 100% human odors, but could also be reactivated or regenerated in household dryer after clothing has become saturated with odors”; claimed violation of MN Consumer Fraud Act, MN Deceptive Trade Practices Act, and MN Unlawful Trade Practices Act; trial court denied plaintiffs’ motion for class certification because claims lacked commonality; plaintiffs sought permanent injunction against defendants advertisements because they were literally false; court granted permanent injunction; defendants appealed and appellate court vacated lower court judgment and remanded case; plaintiffs failed to prove both requisite irreparable injury and failed to prove literal falsity).
Reading, et al. v. Archer-Daniels-Midland Co., et al., No. 2:11CV0045 JCH, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91669 (E.D. Mo. Aug. 16, 2011) (plaintiffs filed petition alleging claims for negligence, negligence per se, and breach of contract against defendants; plaintiffs alleged that employee of one of the defendants arranged for an unlicensed grain deal to market grain with delayed or deferred pricing and hedge contracts to employee's customers; plaintiffs delivered grain to ADM but did not receive payment; defendants removed complaints to federal court asserting diversity jurisdiction because only non-diverse defendant was fraudulently joined as defendant in action; federal court did not find defendant had knowledge of bad acts, made no legal misrepresentations; plaintiffs further alleged ADM violated MO requirement that price paid for grain be displayed on scale tickets; ADM asserted it is regulated under U.S. Warehouse Act (USWA) which preempted plaintiffs’ claim under MO law; federal court agreed because Congress intended USWA to supersede state law).
Sun Pacific Marketing Coop., Inc. v. Dimare Fresh, Inc., No. CIV-F-06-1404 AWI GSA, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90325 (E.D. Cal. Aug. 15, 2011) (plaintiff, tomato grower, and defendant, tomato re-packer, filed suit in federal court alleging breach of contract; contract called for sale of tomatoes at specific price and quantities; grower failed to deliver shipments due to weather; ALJ found in favor of defendant, awarding $1,136,599 in damages, plus attorney’s fees, etc.: plaintiff appealed; federal court readjusted damages award to $980,289 plus interest based upon defendant’s incomplete invoices and lack of evidence showing defendant adequately covered when plaintiff failed to deliver).
Anderson, et al. v. Hess Corporation, 649 F.3d 891 (8th Cir. 2011) (plaintiffs appeal trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of defendant who was successor in interest to and lessee of mineral rights on plaintiffs' land; plaintiffs contend district court erred in construing five leases at issue as requiring defendant to engage in “drilling operations” rather than actual “drilling” in order to extend primary terms of leases; appellate court affirmed; leases contained habendum clauses which specified that lease shall not terminate as long as “drilling or reworking operations are being continuously prosecuted”; Pugh clause specified that defendant must be “engaged” in drilling and reworking operations; two clauses did not contradict each other; general rule is that actual drilling is unnecessary, but location of well sites, hauling of lumbers, providing of water supply and moving equipment in anticipation of drilling process is enough to constitute engagement).
Estate of Silveira v. Silveira, et al., No: C064026, 2011 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5590 (Cal. Ct. App. Jul. 26, 2011) (dispute between divorced parents over $8 million estate of deceased son; high net worth of was result of settlement with son’s school which failed to adequately treat him following heart attack at school; father, who had not been a part of son’s life since birth, signed disclaimer waiving father’s right to half the estate; mother filed petition to enforce disclaimer, but trial court ruled disclaimer void because mother misrepresented nature of disclaimer and father not negligent in failing to read it in reliance on misrepresentations and disclaimer did not contain “adequate description of assets”; appellate court affirmed and established heirship).
Alford v. Dubose, No. 10-10-00410-CV, 2011 Tex. App. LEXIS 5611 (Tex. Ct. App. Jul. 20, 2011) (plaintiff entered into agreement to develop 95 acres of land by clearing timber and trees, repairing fence, building suitable structures for livestock, and converting land into usable livestock pasture; in return for services, defendant would convey land to plaintiff; but, defendant sold property to another party; plaintiff sued for specific performance of contract; trial court held contract was vague and unenforceable; appellate court affirmed on basis that legal description in contract insufficient; trial court's award of summary judgment for defendant affirmed).
Prather v. Lyons, 267 P.3d 78 (N.M. Ct. App. 2011) (state land trust sold to purchaser who bought land for grazing purposes; original purchaser received patent in 1947 and sold land in 1982; land contained surface and subsurface metamorphic rock and character of surface use for grazing did not change until after 1982 sale; successor landowner’s lessee mined and sold rock for use in railroad beds and paid landowner royalties; successor of original purchaser sued state commissioner of public lands to quiet title to rock when commissioner asserted ownership of rock and right to royalties based on general mineral reservation in 1947 patent; trial court held for commissioner; appellate court held trial court did not err in determining, under required analysis of intent of the parties of original sale transaction, that based on sale transaction documentation, including patent, and also based on all surrounding circumstances, the intent of the conveyance transaction was that the rock was included in the reservation of “all minerals of whatsoever kind” in the patent).
Beus v. Beus, 254 P.3d 1231 (Sup. Ct. Ida. 2011) (involves rights of three brothers (residuary beneficiaries under testamentary trust); one brother leased trust property until trust terminated; trustee terminated lease; district court ruled lease was properly terminated, brother was not entitled to compensation for improvements made to leased property, and loans secured by brother against trust property were his obligation alone; appellate court held that terminated lease at end of crop year in which trust terminates was reasonable; court remanded case to determine whether brother installed tile during farm lease and if entitled to compensation; finally, court held that testator intended to treat sons equally and district court did not err in holding balance owing on farm loan was obligation of son).
Harrison v. Walker, et al., No. 2009-COA-CA-01851-COA, 2011 Miss. App. LEXIS 395 (Miss. Ct. App. Jun. 28, 2011)(one-year chicken production contract entered into with Tyson Breeders, Inc.; contract orally terminated for grower's poor performance; grower sued for breach of contract; trial court awarded grower damages based on one-year contract income due to oral termination rather than written as required by contract; judgment reversed and remanded to compute damages for lost profits during period of time that jury determines to be reasonable notice period; evidence of grower's conduct causing prior termination of earlier contract relevant).
R and B Farms, Inc. v. Cedar Valley Acres, Inc., 281 Neb. 706 (2011)(boundary dispute case involving attempted reformation of contract of sale of land and quiet title to disputed area; trial court determined mutual mistake occurred requiring reformation; issue of mutual mistake before court on appeal, but not supported by record; reversed).
In re Estate of Douglas, 801 N.W.2d 628 (Iowa Ct. App. 2011)(son of decedent who moved back to decedent's farm and operated it after decedent declared dead made claim in probate estate for farm management fees and reimbursement for farm expenses; doctrines of quantum meruit and unjust enrichment not properly before court and son not entitled to any management fee; son received all crop income, cash rent, FSA payments and proceeds of cattle sales and sale of pickup, used home rent-free and used truck and equipment without charge for five years; son entitled to reimbursement for principal payments on mortgage - which benefited estate).
Pacific Ag Group, et al v. H. Ghesquiere, et al., 420 Fed. Appx. 278 (4th Cir. 2011)(agreement entered into by the parties in settlement of legal dispute with purpose of facilitating continuing business relationship between parties and pay past debts clear and unambiguous; agreement clearly contemplated a continuing business relationship unless defendant stopped growing infant strawberry plants).
Hoover Tree Farm L.L.C. v. Goodrich Petroleum Company, L.L.C., et al., 63 So.3d 159 (La. Ct. App. 2011)(case involves "most favored nations" clause in mineral lease agreement; trial court determined that $7.6 million payment and higher lease royalty were owed to plaintiff/lessor because of the clause which required bonus-related payment and higher royalty for lessor if original lessee or its "successors and assigns" acquired other nearby leases for higher bonus or royalty; defendant transferred undivided one-half interest in lease related to deeper zones of production, and transferee later acquired third party mineral leases for higher per-acre bonus payments and greater royalties; plaintiff sued to enforce clause; court affirmed trial court's judgment and amended it to make both co-owners responsible for money judgment).
Fazzio, et al. v. Mason, 249 P.3d 390 (Ida. Sup. Ct. 2011)(breach of contract case; defendant, buyer under two real estate purchase contracts, admits to having breached two contracts to purchase farmland but argues that specific performance is not appropriate remedy; court upholds trial court's determination that specific performance appropriate remedy - buyer's financial inability to pay not complete bar to specific performance; defendant had significantly altered the property by causing them to be annexed in anticipation of developing them and subjecting them to local ordinances, and defendant was experienced real estate developer).
City of Newburyport v. Woodman, 944 N.E.2d 1046 (Mass. Ct. App. 2011)(plaintiffs offer to purchase agricultural land from defendant (trustee) constituted bona fide offer).
Homestead Dairy, LLC v. Furst-McNess Co., No. 3:09 CV 194, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27065 (N.D. Ind. Mar. 16, 2011)(plaintiff, dairy farm operation, entered into multiple contracts to purchase cottonseed feed from defendant; plaintiff conceded that it was a merchant in the type of grain contracted for in the case based on its history of dealings with defendant and other suppliers of grain for dairy cattle feed; case scheduled for trial).
East Lynn Fertilizers, Inc. v. CHS, Inc., No. 09-2085, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 127680 (C.D. Ill. Dec. 3, 2010)(plaintiff, a distributor/seller of fertilizer to farmers, sued defendant, bulk seller of farm fertilizers to distributors on claim that contract they entered into in July of 2008 for delivery of anhydrous in April of 2009 was not valid because it lacked defendant's signature; plaintiff had signed the contract and made downpayment, but market price of anhydrous dropped significantly below contract price by fall of 2008; court upheld validity of contract - downpayment made and defendant's practice was to file contracts without signing them and contract language did not require defendant's signature; plaintiff accepted contract by signing it and making downpayment).
Howlett Farms v. Fessner, 78 A.D.2d 1681 (N.Y. Ct. App. 2010)(breach of contract case involving corn futures contract; defendant found to have breached June 2006 contract and plaintiff awarded $15,700 in damages; while plaintiff breached February 2006 contract, defendant did not sustain damages as a result of the breach).
Sivos v. Eppich, et al., 78 A.D.3d 1360 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2010)(plaintiff's construction of home on farm ground she believed would be conveyed to her via oral agreement coupled with expenditure of significant amounts of money and labor to maintain farm constitutes sufficient evidence from which jury could conclude that plaintiff's conduct is explainable only by reference to oral contract; denial of defendant's motion for summary judgment seeking dismissal of plaintiff's claim for specific performance affirmed).
Wilson v. Fieldgrove, 787 N.W.2d 707 (Neb. Sup. Ct. 2010)(oral cash farm lease did not die with tenant and surviving spouse, as sole beneficiary of tenant's estate, entitled to lease termination notice in accordance with state law (six months notice before March 1); court reasoned that cash lease does not require personal services (so lease did not end on tenant's death) but stated that crop-share lease does require personal services of tenant and would end on tenant's death with no further notice of termination required; court did not state how, in cash lease situation, crop is to get planted and harvested without tenant's personal services).
Smokey Ridge Feeders v. Dee Magill and Desilva Magill, L.L.C., No. A-09-1256, 2010 Neb. App. LEXIS 137 (Neb. Ct. App. Aug. 31, 2010)(damage award of $61,263 to plaintiff for death loss of pigs raised under contract; damage award upheld on appeal as supported by evidence).
Steffen v. S & S Oil, L.C., 237 P.3d 668 (Kan. Ct. App. 2010)(buyer of farmland enrolled in the CRP breached real estate purchase contract upon refusal to assume existing CRP contract on the property; trial court grant of summary judgment for buyer reversed and case remanded).
Great Plains Cooperative v. Lindgren, No. A10-185, 2010 Minn. App. Unpub. LEXIS 880 (Minn. Ct. App. Aug. 24, 2010, rev. den., 2010 Minn. LEXIS 700 (Minn. Sup. Ct. Nov. 16, 2010))(defendant, farmer, determined to be "merchant" for purposes of merchant's confirmatory memo rule and, consequently, can't use statute of frauds as a defense to his failure to perform under oral contracts for sale of grain; defendant has been farmer since 1973, owns 836 acres, took ag and ag business classes in college, makes all marketing decisions and sells crops to various buyers, and is experienced in cash sales and use of futures contracts).
Rissler, et al. v. Heinzler, et al., 316 S.W.3d 533 (Mo. Ct. App. 2010)(parties contracted for sale of cows; buyer removed 162 cows but didn’t notify other parties; seller then sold remaining cows and kept proceeds; trial court found that buyer breached contract, but seller couldn’t prove damages; affirmed on appeal – seller made no profit from sale of remaining cows and buyer’s breach resulted in windfall for seller).
TXU Portfolio Management Co., L.P. v. FPL Energy, LLC, et al., 3285 S.W.3d 580 (Tex. Ct. App. 2010)(case involves contractual dispute between electricity wholesaler and wind-powered electrical generation facilities; plaintiff seeks to recover liquidated damages after defendant failed to deliver (due to inherent inefficiencies of wind-generated electricity) minimum annual quantities of wind-generated electricity and renewable energy credits due under purchase and sale agreements; defendant countersued claiming that plaintiff failed to ensure sufficient transmission capacity; trial court rendered "take nothing" judgment for both parties on damage claims and a declaratory judgment in favor of defendant; both parties appeal, and on appeal court affirms take nothing judgment for defendant on their damage claim, and reverses to rule in favor of plaintiff on the construction of contract clause concerning plaintiff's duty to provide transmission capacity; case remanded).
Price Farms, Inc. v. McCurdy, et al., 42 So.3d 1099 (La. Ct. App. 2010)(real estate broker sought recovery of one-half of commission paid to another broker who represented purchaser in sale of three pieces of ag property; court upheld trial court determination that no implied agreement existed).
Crestwood Farm Bloodstock, LLC v. Everest Stables, Inc., et al., No. 5:09-CV-317-KKC, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62876 (E.D. Ky. Jun. 24, 2010)(defendant claimed that plaintiff wrongfully withheld over $200,000 in proceeds from sale of thoroughbred horses and sought motion for preliminary injunction; injunction denied; case involves battle over sale contract language concerning whether seller had right to set reserves as to any of the horses it owned that plaintiff was selling; injunctive relief denied because defendant can be made whole by award of monetary damages).
Ballard v. Devon Louisiana Corporation, No. H-05-3454, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61595 (S.D. Tex. Jun. 22, 2010)(case involves dispute concerning joint operating agreement for oil properties dating back to 1971; essentially a contract interpretation case; defendant's obligation to offer plaintiff a share in new leases in particular area has expired and plaintiff entitled to nothing from defendant).
Simek v. Tate, 231 P.3d 891 (Wyo. Sup. Ct. 2010)(trial court order enforcing oral settlement agreement requiring plaintiff to buy real estate from defendant affirmed; partial performance made settlement agreement enforceable despite the statute of frauds not being satisfied).
Miller v. Snow Rock Dairies, L.L.C., et al., 786 N.W.2d 520 (Iowa Ct. App. 2010)(manure agreement that parties entered into not ambiguous and intended to be discretionary; defendant had the right, but was not required to provide plaintiff with manure on the real estate subject to the agreement).
Whisnant v. Carolina Farm Credit, ACA, 693 S.E.2d 149 (N.C. Ct. App. 2010)(genuine issues of material fact existed on plaintiff's claims of fraudulent inducement, negligence and other claims related to plaintiff's co-signing of third party's note on which third party defaulted and defendant took action to foreclose on plaintiff's farm).
Lookout Windpower Holding Company, LLC, et al. v. Edison Mission Energy, et al., 714 F.Supp.2d 547 (W.D. Pa. 2010)(contract case involving construction of wind power station; battle is between "renewable energy" company and a financier of the proposed project; case largely procedural).
Blad, et al. v. Parris, No. A09-908, 2010 Minn. App. Unpub. LEXIS 417 (Minn. Ct. App. May 11, 2010)(trial court correctly concluded that landowner breached farm lease agreement with tenant; landlord failed to communicate intentions with tenant before tenant incurred land preparatory expenses for spring planting and before tenant planted crop; tenant reasonably relied on parties' custom in preparing ground and planting crop in absence of written agreement).
Gerstenberger Farms, Inc. v. Grimes, et al., No. 291318, 2010 Mich. App. LEXIS 726 (Mich. Ct. App. Apr. 22, 2010)(trial court summary judgment award to defendant upheld - plaintiff not entitled to specific performance and damages under farm lease agreement; plaintiff's alleged right of first refusal to buy the land if the owner put it up for sale not supported by the evidence and not definite enough to support claim for specific performance).
Farmers Elevator Company of Oakville, Inc., et al. v. Hamilton, 926 N.E.2d 68 (Ind. Ct. App. 2010)(defendant, farmer, executed four hedge-to-arrive (HTA) contracts with plaintiff for sale of grain, with each contract specifying price, type, and quantity of grain to be delivered, but none specifying a delivery date; rolling fees not mentioned in contracts, but defendant extended delivery periods multiple times and was charged each time; farmer ultimately did not deliver and contracts cancelled; farmer executed promissory notes agreeing to compensate plaintiff and then sued claiming that contracts were illegal off-exchange "futures contracts" and jury agreed; appellate court reversed - contracts were valid and enforceable "forward contracts").
Nationwide Agribusiness v. Structural Restoration, Inc., 705 F. Supp. 2d 1070 (S.D. Iowa 2010)(defendant inspected farmer’s grain silos which collapsed post-inspection, and court determined that state law imposed duty on defendant to exercise reasonable care when conducting inspections; farmer filed insurance claim with plaintiff and plaintiff sued defendant for breach of contract and breach of warranties; defendant not entitled to summary judgment on negligence claim because jury could have concluded that misrepresentations were made by defendant in its inspection report leading to “but-for” causation).
Hicks v. Castille, No. 07-09-00095-CV, 2010 Tex. App. LEXIS 2567 (Tex. Ct. App. Apr. 12, 2010)(buyer of 96 acre tract (out of 100 acres) held right of first refusal on remaining four acres; seller sent buyer notice of intent to sell portion of four acre tract, but right of first refusal not exercised and action for declaratory relief filed and trial court granted buyer's motion for summary judgment; appellate court determined that trial court erred in determining that buyer had right to purchase entire four acre tract, and failure to exercise the option caused right of first refusal to expire).
Bank of the West, Inc. v. Organic Grain & Milling, Inc, No. CV-08-2220-PHX-FJM, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24915 (D. Ariz. Mar. 17, 2010)(letter between secured creditor of bankrupt debtor and buyer of secured crop under which lender agreed to subordinate lien on crop proceeds to allow crop buyer to pay crop harvester and seed supplier out of crop proceeds with balance of proceeds to be paid to lender constitutes enforceable contract; letter satisfies requirements of enforceable contract and crop buyer breached obligation by failing to remit net harvest proceeds to secured creditor as promised).
J Coleman, Inc. v. Nufarm Americas, Inc., 693 F.Supp.2d 1055 (D. N.D. 2010)(plaintiff planted sunflowers and sprayed them, post-emergent, with tank mix of chemicals that defendant manufactured; on various motions for summary judgment, court grants summary judgment on plaintiff's products liability, negligence, failure to warn, breach of implied warranties, and statutory violation claims, but denies summary judgment on plaintiff's breach of express warranties claim).
Tubbs Rice Dryers, Inc. v. Martin, 33 So.3d 926 (La. Ct. App. 2010)(defendant liable for breach of cash forward grain contracts; defendant did not properly invoke arbitration clause included in contracts).
Alattar v. Ganim, 355 S.W.3d 1 (Tex. Ct. App. 2010)(statute of frauds applicable to bar claim for plaintiff's alleged breach of agreement to purchase ranch).
United Suppliers, Inc. v. Millard Feed Mill, Inc., No. 09-CV-107-LRR, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3725 (N.D. Iowa Jan. 19, 2010)(breach of contract case involving purchase of fertilizer from plaintiff (an Iowa company) which plaintiff delivered but defendant (a Wisconsin business) refused to pick-up and pay for; defendant had sufficient contact with Iowa to be sued in Iowa).
Meyers, et al. v. Rosen, 69 A.D.3d 1095 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2010)(case involves purchase of residential property that had rodent damage and basement seepage that buyers claimed were not disclosed on disclosure statement; buyer failed to seek relief under appropriate state statute for seller's failure to complete disclosure statement with respect to septic system and seller's silence regarding septic system did not constitute grounds for relief under state statute; seller did disclose that sump pump would run frequently during heavy rains and did not contradict statement in disclosure statement that basement did not have seepage).
Callisons, Inc. v. Key Farms, Inc, et al., No. 3:08-CV-0426-LRH-RAM, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2793 (D. Nev. Jan. 13, 2010)(plaintiff, manufacturer of and seller of products made from mint oil, entered into futures contracts with defendants for purchase of 60,000 pounds of peppermint oil at $14/lb. in crop years 2008 and 2009; defendants failed to produce any mint oil in either 2008 or 2009 and plaintiff purchased mint oil from other farmers at more than double the contract price and sued defendants for breach of contract, anticipatory repudiation and intentional interference with contractual relations; plaintiff not entitled to JML because factual issues remain relating to the necessity of plaintiff's purported need to cover from particular farms that it did due to alleged unique characteristics of mint oil and differences based on various growing regions in Nevada; plaintiff's motion for partial summary judgment likewise denied).
Wespak Distributors, Inc. v. Red Hawk Farming & Cooling LLC, No. 09-743-KI, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 325 (D. R.I. Jan. 5, 2010)(plaintiff entitled to default judgment in its action to recover payment for agricultural commodities plaintiff delivered to defendant).
Drew Farms v. Preston Farms, LLC, No. 4:08-cv-00131-TLW, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 120447 (D. S.C. Dec. 28, 2009)(case involves dispute over contract for purchase of popcorn which contained unacceptable levels of Alflatoxin upon inspection at delivery for which defendant paid rate at less than contract rate and used as livestock feed; question involved whether rejection for non-conforming goods was proper and whether defendant properly revoked acceptance of non-conforming popcorn; summary judgment for plaintiff denied due to factual issues remaining and summary judgment for defendant denied on defendant's claim that plaintiff used unapproved chemicals while growing the popcorn because factual issues remained).
Ouimet, et al. v. Fitzsimmons, 68 A.D.3d 1507 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2009)(plaintiff not entitled to specific performance of contract under which defendant agreed to sell defendant's farm for $150,000; plaintiff only able to obtain prequalification commitment from mortgage company for $120,000, and commitment letter did not guarantee funds would be available to pay full purchase price; plaintiff failed to show that family members could provide financial assistance).
Port Elevator-Brownsville, L.C. v. Vega, 358 Fed. Appx. 558 (5th Cir. 2009)(breach of contract case; evidence sufficient to support jury's award of damages to plaintiff).
McGregor v. Crumley, 775 N.W.2d 91 (S.D. Sup. Ct. 2009)(case involves breach of contract claim for sale and delivery of cows to defendants’ dairy operation; insufficient evidence present to conclude that wife was partner with husband in dairy operation for purpose of holding wife jointly and severally liable).
Wallskog v. East-West Development, LLC, et al., 779 N.W.2d 724 (Wisc. Ct. App. 2009)(breach of contract case involving groundwater and soil testing; on motion for summary judgment, court ruled that issues of fact remain to be resolved at trial).
Bonner Farms, Ltd. v. Fritz, et al., 355 Fed. Appx. 10 (6th Cir. 2008)(defendants are beneficiaries of a lease allowing them to extract oil and gas from four wells on plaintiff's property; declaratory judgment entered finding that lease had expired by its terms when defendants failed to continue production; affirmative defenses of estoppel and unclean hands rejected by trial court and affirmed on appeal).
Cate v. Woods, 299 S.W.3d 149 (Tex. Ct. App. 2009)(trial court erred in granting specific performance of land sale contract; no written contract in existence that expressed essential contract terms; no fraud by "seller" because no contract in existence; no trespass by "seller" because "seller" was owner of property).
Archer Daniels Midland Co. v. Soucie, No. 4:08CV3215, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87640 (D. Neb. Sept. 23, 2009) (plaintiff failed to show, by preponderance of the evidence, that enforceable contract existed between parties for sale of 25,000 bushels of soybeans pursuant to hedge-to-arrive contract; plaintiff failed to timely send confirmatory memo memorializing telephone conversation, and defendant did not admit existence of contract).
Transocean Group Holdings PTY LTD., et al. v. South Dakota Soybean Processors, LLC, 663 F.Supp.2d 731 (D. Minn. 2009)(breach of contract case involving construction of soybean biodiesel plant).
Tripp Farms v. Bunge North America , Inc., No. 4:08CV004146, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 83064 (E.D. Ark. Sept. 11, 2009)(plaintiff presented sufficient evidence on its claims that NGFA arbitration clause contained in grain contract held to be procedurally and substantively unconscionable to overcome defendant’s motion for summary judgment).
Crop Production Services, Inc. v. Layton, et al., No. 1:09-CV-401-WKW [WO], 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 78639 (M.D. Ala. Sept. 1, 2009)(case involves plaintiff's action against defendant for alleged nonpayment of debts owed for purchase of farm supplies under credit agreement; default judgment not granted and case proceeded to merits of plaintiff's motion for summary judgment, which was denied - dispute remained over validity of 2007 credit agreement, differences present over affidavits of plaintiff's credit manager, and only limited discovery had taken place).
Cody v. Arnett, et al., No. CIV-08-439-SPS, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 78553 (E.D. Okla. Sept. 1, 2009)(case involves suit over alleged misrepresentations in connection with cattle purchases made from livestock auction in Kentucky; case transferred to Eastern District of Kentucky - defendants had insufficient contacts with Oklahoma to be subject to jurisdiction in Oklahoma.
Timmerman, et al. v. The Grain Exchange, LLC, et al., 915 N.E.2d 113 (Ill. Ct. App. 2009)(forward grain contracts rendered unenforceable when defendant's license to deal in grain was revoked making it illegal for the defendant to take delivery of the grain under the contracts and making assignments of the contracts to the assignees ineffective; arbitration clause of National Grain and Feed Association invalidated as unconscionable).
Borel, et al. v. St. Clair, 2009 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 6594 (Cal. Ct. App. Aug. 14, 2009)(defendant liable to plaintiff on contract theory for damages caused by negligently performed labor when installing wind and solar generating systems on plaintiff's ranch).
Central Livestock Association, Inc., et al. v. R & J Dairy, et al., No. 08-155 (JNE/JJG), 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72697 (D. Minn. Aug. 14, 2009)(contract case involving alleged breach of livestock feeding contracts).
Magnolia Enterprises, LLC v. Schons, et al., No. CV-08-376-N-BLW, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 49262 (D. Idaho Jun. 11, 2009)(right of first refusal is an interest in real property that is subject to the statute of frauds; right of first refusal involved in real estate transaction did not contain adequate legal description - plaintiff not entitled to summary judgment).
Wagner v. Reuter, 208 P.3d 1317 (Wyo. Sup. Ct. 2009)(contract for compensation of field work performed before sale of farm upheld and buyer determined to be in breach for failure to negotiate compensation as required by contract terms; genuine issue of material fact remains as to amount of compensation required; but, defendant did not commit conversion of plaintiff's irrigation tubes which plaintiff left on the premises after the contractually-required date for removing them).
Lewis v. Kansas Production Company, Inc., et al., 199 P.3d 180 (Kan. Ct. App. 2009)(oil and gas lease containing implied covenant of exploration and development could not be cancelled for non-development without demand for compliance; neither abandonment nor forfeiture of lease present).
Chieftain International (U.S.) Inc., et al. v. Southeast Offshore, Inc., 553 F.3d 817 (5th Cir. 2008)(defendant, owner of fractional interest in an oil and gas lease, found liable for $5.8 million in unpaid fees incurred by the operator of the underwater oil and gas exploration operation, which paid operation costs up front for all fractional owners; operator did not affirmatively release defendant from obligations under the parties’ joint operating agreements before defendant assigned its rights to a third party).
Mathews v. Mathews, 1 So.3d 738 (La. Ct. App. 2008)(mother’s sale of farmland to a son for no consideration is a nullity and not a disguised donation, as is subsequent donation of land by son to a cousin).
Deer Field Hunting Club, Inc. v. Swayze Plantation, L.L.C., 998 So.2d 1235 (La. Ct. App. 2008)(trial court’s denial of tenant’s request for issuance of permanent injunction that would restrain landowner from harvesting timber and conducting clearing operations on leased premises upheld; lease gave landlord retained right to use and develop premises for “other” purposes; tenant knew at time leased signed that future logging a possibility; and logging activity would actually enhance hunting value of property to tenant).
Miller v. Miller, No. A-08-247, 2008 Neb. App. LEXIS 243 (Neb. Ct.
App. Dec. 2, 2008) (ownership agreement involving ranch not an enforceable
contract; agreement ambiguous and lacked mutuality of obligation; extrinsic
evidence did not support existence of enforceable contract).
Brown, Ltd, et al. v. Sheppard, 282 S.W.3d 419
(Tex. Sup. Ct. 2008)(oil well lease contained in pool of producing properties expired and legal issue was whether expiration of lease removed the minerals from the pool and bars costs incurred before termination; trial court determination that is did reversed – pooling agreement did not depend on continuation of underlying leases, and equitable right of reimbursement for improvements not necessarily extinguished by termination of lease).
Bybee Farms LLC, et al. v. Snake River Sugar Company, et al., No. CV- 06-5007-FVS, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74537 (E.D. Wash. Sept. 29, 2008)(contract case involving defendant's alleged agreement to buy plaintiffs' shares of patron preferred stock at "reasonable price"; case proceeds to trial on numerous contract issues).
Energy Partners of Montana, LLC v. Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, 2008 MT 320N (Mont. Sup. Ct. 2008)(plaintiff acquired sixteen oil and gas leases at sale by defendant which specified that rental payments for subsequent years were due before the beginning of the next lease year, and specified that leases would terminate unless there was a well currently being drilled, a producing well or a shut-in well; plaintiff failed to pay annual rents before beginning of next lease year and failed to have producing wells, wells that were being drilled or shut-in wells; provision providing for automatic termination of leases upheld).
216 Jamaica Avenue, LLC v. S&R Playhouse Realty Co., 540 F.3d 433 (6th Cir. 2008)("gold clause" in 99-year lease entered into in 1912 upheld requiring rent to be paid in gold coins rather than cash; gold clauses banned in 1933, but became enforceable again via federal legislation in 1977; 1982 assignment of lease obligated defendant to terms of 1912 lease; "meeting of the minds" present where assignment quoted extensively from 1912 agreement).
Swift & Company v. Elias Farms, Inc., 539 F.3d 849 (8th Cir. 2008)(contract action involving contracts with defendants (hog producers) for the supply of hogs; summary judgment against plaintiff on its contract claim and summary judgment against defendants on their counterclaims for breach of contract and violations of the Minnesota Consumer Fraud Act are affirmed in part as to the counterclaims, but reversed as to the ruling on the contract claim where a "termination " provisions in a portion of the contract was ambiguous and neither party produced conclusive evidence that dictated one meaning as a matter of law).
Bravo Farms, L.L.C. v. Battin, No. 26550-III, 2008 Wash. App. LEXIS 2062 (Wash. Ct. App. Aug. 21, 2008)(trial court’s denial of specific performance of alleged contract to purchase farmland affirmed; no acceptance of offer to buy land and evidence did not support existence of right of first refusal to purchase subject land – right of first refusal not in writing as required by Statute of Frauds and evidence not presented that parties’ conduct took matter outside the Statute of Frauds).
Yosemite Meat and Locker Service, Inc., No. F052452, 2008 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5826 (Cal. Ct. App. Jul. 21, 2008)(contract dispute involving hog production contract; assignment clause in contract did not constitute security agreement).
In re Estate of Thompson, 752 N.W.2d 624 (N.D. Sup. Ct. 2008)(son failed to prove that he had oral contract for deed to buy land from his parents based on alleged agreement that son return to farm with parents and would receive farm after parents’ deaths; son’s possession of land consistent with a lease; parent refused to execute written contract; no significant improvements installed).
SE Co-op Service Company v. Hampton, 263 S.W.3d 689 (Mo. Ct. App. 2008)(contract dispute involving alleged misapplication of fertilizer by plaintiff and refusal to pay by defendant).
Schmitt v. Beekay Development, LLC, et al., No. 3:06-cv-99-RLY-WGH, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51355 (S.D. Ind. Jul. 3, 2008)(foundation to plaintiff’s home “broke” two years after purchase and was condemned; home built on top of abandoned underground coal mine; plaintiff sued home builder, developer of subdivision and subsidiaries of developer on numerous theories; summary judgment granted for defendants on plaintiff’s duty to disclose claim (i.e., constructive fraud) – information regarding presence of underground mines readily available on publicly available websites and plaintiff and purchase agreement (which plaintiff declined to read) disclosed that mining had occurred in the area and that mine subsidence insurance was available (which plaintiff did not purchase); summary judgment for defendant denied on plaintiff’s breach of implied warranty of habitability claim – defendant builder impliedly warranted that the home would be structurally fit for habitation, and defendant developer impliedly represented that the land on which home built was suitable for residential homebuilding; summary judgment granted for defendants on plaintiff’s claim of breach of warranty of quiet enjoyment – plaintiff did not claim she did not receive good title or that title was impaired).
Van Santen v. Van Santen, et al., A07-0899, 2008 Minn. App. Unpub. LEXIS 678 (Minn. Ct. App. Jun. 10, 2008)(trial court’s award of specific performance of option contract for sale of land upheld; option contract not ambiguous and no issues of fact existed as to whether consideration given for option contract).
Moorman v. Blackstock, et al., 661 S.E.2d 404 (Va. Sup. Ct. 2008)(negotiations for sale of farm involving letters, notes, memoranda, draft agreements and conversations did not satisfy statute of frauds - no mutual agreement to essential contract terms; no equitable estoppel nor part performance).
Field v. Costa, 958 A.2d 1164 (Vt. Sup. Ct. 2008)(right-of-first-refusal (ROFR)held by Land Trust in subject farm was condition precedent to purchase agreement in farm entered into between plaintiff and defendant; Land Trust’s exercise of ROFR and subsequent assignment of its interest to neighboring farmer resulted in sale contract never being formed between plaintiff and defendant).
Hornick v. Boyce, 280 Fed. Appx. 770 (10th Cir. 2008)(defendant breached option agreement which allowed plaintiff to purchase defendants’ 50 percent interest in Colorado LLC containing 5,000 acres as sole asset; plaintiff entitled to $1.5 million in damages based on plaintiff’s testimony of ranchland value).
Scarff Brothers, Inc., v. Bischer Farms, Inc., No. 04-10071-BC, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40132 (E.D. Mich. May 19, 2008)(plaintiff fed cattle at defendant’s feedlot under contract- feeding arrangement, and many came up missing or died; plaintiff then removed remaining cattle; court held that defendant entitled to have plaintiff’s damage award reduced by defendant’s cost of feeding and caring for plaintiff’s remaining cattle before their removal).
American General Financial Services, Inc. v. Carter, 184 P.3d 273 (Kan. Ct. App. 2008)(real estate foreclosure case involving relative priorities of a lien for unpaid sales tax and later purchase money mortgage given by defaulting taxpayers to acquire the property which is later sold at foreclosure; court held that mortgage given to secure the loan used by taxpayer to buy the property has priority).
Bailey, et al. v. Shell Western E&P, Inc., et al., 555 F.Supp.2d 767 (D. S.D. Tex. 2008)(contract dispute involving calculation of royalty payments under oil and gas leases; method used by defendants to calculate royalty payments proper).
Langer v. Bartholomay, 745 N.W. 2d 649 (N.D. Sup. Ct. Feb. 29, 2008)(farm lease case; no breach by tenant in planting beet crop; landowner’s repudiation constituted anticipatory breach).
Black Star Farms v. Oliver, 544 F.Supp.2d 913 (D. Ariz. 2008) (plaintiff, a Michigan winery who wanted to ship directly to AZ consumers but was barred by AZ law, brought constitutional challenge based on “dormant” commerce clause; AZ law upheld).