Friday, June 29, 2012

Summary 2012 WY 80

Summary of Decision June 12, 2012

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

Case Name: Jackman Constr. v. Town of Baggs, Wyo.

Citation: 2012 WY 80

Docket Number: S-11-0252


Appeal from the District Court of Carbon County, The Honorable Wade E. Waldrip, Judge

Representing Appellant (Plaintiff): Clark Stith, Rock Springs, WY.

Representing Appellee (Defendant): Thomas A. Thompson and Matthew E. Riehl of MacPherson, Kelly & Thompson, LLC, Rawlins, WY. Argument by Mr. Riehl.

Date of Decision: June 12, 2012

Facts: Appellant was awarded a contract to improve Appellee’s town water treatment plant. After the project suffered significant delays, payments were submitted and accepted, and a dispute ensued as to whether or not the last payment constituted “final payment.” Appellant filed a governmental claim as well as a complaint for breach of contract, both seeking damages from Appellee for unjustified assessment of liquidated damages and other damages due to additional expenses incurred by Appellant as a result of delay caused by Appellee. Appellee filed its “Motion for Summary Judgment,” which the district court granted. The court stated that pursuant to the clear and unambiguous contractual terms, Appellant failed to make a written request of its claim and also waived any further claim against Appellee by accepting final payment. Furthermore, Appellant’s failure to notify Appellee of any claim, during any time, could not absolve it of its failure to abide by the clear contractual terms. This appeal followed.

Issues: A) Whether the district court erred in finding no genuine issues of material fact and that the last payment by Appellee to Appellant was “Final Payment” under the contract between the parties; B) Whether the district court erred in finding no genuine issues of material fact and that Appellee did not expressly acknowledge in writing that the issue of liquidated damages was still unsettled when it made its last payment to Appellant; and C)Whether the district court erred in finding no genuine issues of material fact and that Appellant was required to submit, but had not submitted, a written “claim” in connection with Appellee’s imposition of liquidated damages.

Holdings: The Court concluded sufficient evidence from the record and timeline supported the district court’s conclusion that the last payment from Appellee to Appellant was indeed “final payment.” The Court found that under the clear and unambiguous terms of the contract, Appellant agreed to waive all claims by accepting “final payment,” which it did.


J. Hill delivered the opinion for the court.

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