Monday, November 25, 2013

Page County Appliance Center, Inc. v. Honeywell, Inc. case brief

Page County Appliance Center, Inc. v. Honeywell, Inc. case brief summary
347 N.W.2d 171 (Iowa 1984)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Appellants, travel agency, manufacturer, and electronic service vendor (vendor), sought review of the judgment of the Iowa District Court for Page County, which awarded appellee appliance store compensatory and punitive damages for nuisance and tortious interference with business relations. The manufacturer also sought review of the trial court judgment that awarded indemnification to the vendor on its cross-claim.

CASE FACTS
The appliance store filed a lawsuit for nuisance and tortious interference with prospective business advantage against a manufacturer and a vendor that provided electronic services to a travel agency because one of the manufacturer's computers placed at the travel agency generated interference with television sets displayed for sale by the appliance store. A jury found for the appliance store against the manufacturer and vendor on both theories, and awarded compensatory and punitive damages. The trial court awarded an indemnity judgment for the vendor against the manufacturer.

DISCUSSION

  • The court held that: 
  • (1) the motions for directed verdict should have been granted because the appliance store did not introduce substantial evidence of a purpose to injure or destroy the appliance store on the claim of tortious interference with prospective business advantage; 
  • (2) on the record, a jury issue was generated on the manufacturer's liability for punitive damages, but not on the vendor's liability; 
  • (3) the contract between the vendor and the manufacturer waived the vendor's right to indemnity; and 
  • (4) the question of whether the appliance store devoted its premises to an unusually sensitive use.

CONCLUSION
The court reversed and remanded to the trial court with instructions to set aside the judgment in favor of the appliance store and the judgment in favor of the vendor, and granted a new trial.

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