Monday, January 6, 2014

Ruud v. Larson case brief

Ruud v. Larson case brief summary
392 N.W.2d 62 (1986)

Defendant lessee appealed from the judgment of the District Court of Cass County (North Dakota) that awarded damages to plaintiff lessor in an action involving the breach of a commercial real estate lease.

The lessor and the lessee executed a 10-year lease that was later extended for another 10-year term. The lessee constructed and operated a car wash and gasoline sales outlet on the property. When the lessee failed to make timely rental payments and also failed to pay property taxes as required by the terms of the lease, the lessor commenced an action for breach of the lease.

The trial court awarded damages to the lessor and found that the lessee had breached the lease by failing to pay taxes, rent, and by failing to provide liability insurance and to keep the property in good repair.


  • In affirming the judgment, the court held that the trial court's finding that the lessor had made diligent efforts to sublease the property and thereby mitigate damages was not clearly erroneous. 
  • The court noted that the lessor made over 140 contacts with approximately 50 prospective tenants but had received no written offers to lease the property.

The court affirmed the judgment.

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