Thursday, April 19, 2012

Summary 2012 WY 60

Summary of Decision April 18, 2012

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Summaries are prepared by Law Librarians and are not official statements of the Wyoming Supreme Court

Case Name:  Shaw Construction, LLC, v. Rocky Mountain Hardware, Inc.

Citation:  2012 WY 60

Docket Number: S-11-0171

Appeal from the District Court of Teton County, The Honorable Timothy C. Day, Judge

Representing Appellant (Defendant):  Peter F. Moyer, Jackson, Wyoming.

Representing Appellee (Plaintiff): Mark D. Sullivan, Mark D. Sullivan, P.C., Wilson, Wyoming.

Date of Decision: April 18, 2012

Facts:  Appellant appeals from the district court’s order requiring it to pay for hardware furnished by Appellee on a construction project.  The district court also awarded contractual interest and attorney fees under the terms of a 2003 credit agreement between the parties.  Appellant claims the district court erred by concluding it had entered into a contract with Appellee. 

Issues:  Whether Appellee is entitled to contract damages, 21% interest and attorney’s fees, based on a 2003 account credit application signed solely by an unknown “guarantor” over 4 years prior to a 2008 construction job, where the district court expressly found that there was no contract between the parties for the 2008 job.

Holdings: Under the credit agreement, Appellant agreed to pay the costs of collection, including legal fees, and interest on any unpaid balances.  Although Appellant suggested that the agreement was not valid because no one could identify the Appellant representative who signed it and it was only signed in the “Personal Guarantee” space, the evidence demonstrated that the application was, in fact, authorized by Appellant as the credit references were provided on Appellant letterhead.  Appellee also sent Appellant a confirmatory letter, indicating the credit account had been opened and there is no indication Appellant objected.  The best evidence that Appellant authorized the application and entered into the credit agreement was that following the opening of the account, the parties operated under this agreement for several years prior to the construction project at issue.  The district court properly ruled the credit agreement applied in this case and, pursuant to its terms, Appellant was responsible for the principal balance due on the hardware contract, together with contractual interest and attorneys fees. Affirmed.

C.J. Kite delivered the opinion for the court.

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