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Edged in Stone, Inc. v. Northwest Power Systems, LLC

Supreme Court of Idaho

March 19, 2014

EDGED IN STONE, INC., an Idaho corporation, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
NORTHWEST POWER SYSTEMS, LLC, an Idaho limited liability company, Defendant-Respondent, and CATERPILLAR, INC., a Delaware corporation, PERKINS ENGINES, INC., a Maryland corporation and wholly owned subsidiary of CATERPILLAR, INC., Defendants

2014 Opinion No. 35

Appeal from the district court of the Sixth Judicial District of the State of Idaho, Bannock County. Hon. Mitchell Brown, District Judge.

The judgment of the district court and the award of attorney's fees and costs are affirmed. Cost and attorney's fees on appeal are awarded to respondent..

May, Rammell & Thompson, Chtd., Pocatello, attorneys for appellant. Aaron N. Thompson argued.

Cooper and Larsen, Chtd., Pocatello, attorneys for respondent. Reed W. Larsen argued.

W. JONES, Justice. Chief Justice BURDICK, Justices EISMANN, J. JONES and HORTON, CONCUR.

OPINION

Page 727

[156 Idaho 177] W. JONES, Justice

I. Nature of the Case

In an action brought by Appellant Edged in Stone, Inc. (EIS) seeking damages for breach of contract, breach of warranty, breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, negligence and unjust enrichment, the district court dismissed all of EIS's claims except breach of contract and unjust enrichment. Later, the district court entered a judgment in favor of Northwest Power Systems, LLC (NWPS), dismissing EIS's remaining claims and awarded NWPS attorney's

Page 728

[156 Idaho 178] fees and costs. EIS appeals to this Court, arguing that the district court erred in granting summary judgment to NWPS.

II. Factual and Procedural Background

EIS is a landscaping company in Pocatello, Idaho, owned by Preston George (George). In October of 2007, EIS purchased a Compact Power 500 Series Boxer 526 DX Mini Skid Loader with a Perkins diesel engine (the Skid) from Rocky Mountain Machinery (RMM) in Blackfoot, Idaho. In May of 2009, the Skid began having mechanical problems. RMM examined the Skid in Blackfoot. RMM informed George that they believed that the Skid had a bad engine and that " they had been directed to not work on it and take it to a Perkins dealer."

EIS contacted NWPS, a Perkins dealer that engaged in the sale, service, and repair of power general equipment and engines in Boise, Idaho. The parties dispute whether George or Scott Webb (Webb), an employee of EIS, first contacted NWPS to evaluate the Skid's engine. Although the parties dispute the facts surrounding the initial contact between EIS and NWPS, George agrees that he authorized Webb to deliver the Skid to NWPS. Webb used George's truck to transport the Skid from Blackfoot to Boise. Webb delivered the Skid to NWPS and met with Adams, the owner of NWPS. Webb and Adams testified that they discussed that Adams was to look at the engine, determine the problem, and then contact EIS before making any repairs on the engine. George testified that he was aware Webb and Adams had a conversation when Webb dropped off the Skid, but he denied any knowledge of the contents of their conversation. In contrast, Webb testified that he let George know that he had delivered the Skid and that NWPS was going to examine it before making repairs.

After examining the Skid, Adams determined that the Skid's engine had been " 'dusted'; that the engine needed to be replaced; that it would not be cost effective to repair; and finally, that it was not covered by an existing warranty." The district court explained, " The term 'dusted' was described in layman's ...


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