Missouri Contract Cases 2012 (Part 17)

Missouri Contract Cases

Olson v. The Curators of the University of Missouri

Loreen Olson brought an action alleging breach of contract and related claims, in which she asserted that the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences had offered her the job as chair of the Communications Department at a meeting, and she had accepted. The dean then sent Olson two offer letters, one for a three-year contract period and the other for the preceding two-month period. When Olson emailed the dean about other terms of employment — which she claimed had been discussed at the meeting — the dean instructed his assistant to email Olson to inform her that the dean would be contacting the faculty to select another chair due to irreconcilable differences. The Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District reversed the trial court’s grant of partial summary judgment in favor the university and remanded the case to the trial court, because the undisputed facts didn’t negate Olson’s contention that a contract had been formed during her meeting with the dean.

Matt Miller Company, Inc. v. Taylor-Martin Holdings, LLC

The Missouri Court of Appeals, Southern District upheld the trial court’s judgment awarding the owner of a building $228,138.72 against a contractor for breach of contract. The dispute arose out of deficiencies in the contractor’s work on a historic building in downtown Springfield, Missouri.

American Standard Insurance Co. of Wisconsin v. Stinson

The appellate court affirmed a trial court’s summary judgment in favor of an insurance company because the policy language at issue wasn’t ambiguous.

Columbia Casualty Co. v. HIAR Holdings, L.L.C.

Following an opinion the court issued earlier in the year that statutory damages under the TCPA are punitive in nature, the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District held that an insurance company didn’t have an obligation to defend of indemnify its insured against claims under the TCPA.

Williams Construction, Inc. v. Wehr Construction, L.L.C.

Wehr Construction cancelled a purchase order for building materials. When Wehr refused to pay damages amounts under an early termination provision in the agreement, Williams Construction sued for breach of contract. The trial court held that Williams’s failure to timely deliver shop drawings was not a material breach and thus did not excuse Wehr’s performance. The Missouri Court of Appeals, Southern District affirmed the trial court’s judgment that Wehr breached the agreement, as well as the court’s award of $30,000 for lost profits, but reversed the lower court’s award of $5,000 for overhead expenses, finding that Williams had not sufficiently proven the damages.

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