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Law Offices of Michael E. Douglas
P.O. Box 251551
Woodbury, Minnesota 55125-6551
   

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 mdouglas@injurylawtwincities.com

 

UNPUBLISHED CIVIL OPINIONS FROM THE MINNESOTA COURT OF APPEALS

A07-679

Brunswick Corporation,
Appellant,

vs.

Genmar Holdings, Inc., et al.,
Respondents,

AND

Carver Boat Corporation, LLC, et al.,
Respondents,

vs.

Brunswick Corporation,
Appellant.

WORKE, Judge
On appeal in this dispute over whether respondent breached the noncompete agreement in the parties' stock-purchase agreement, appellant argues that (1) it is entitled to pursue damages resulting from respondents' breach of contract because judicial estoppel bars respondents from denying the availability of damages and the stock-purchase agreement does not bar appellant from an effective remedy for respondents' breach; (2) the stock-purchase agreement does not preclude it from seeking specific performance and the equitable remedy of disgorgement; (3) genuine issues of material fact preclude summary judgment on damages arising from respondents' breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing; and (4) the magistrate erred by limiting the award of attorney fees and by imposing sanctions. By notice of review, respondents argue that (1) appellant is not entitled to damages for breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing because the alleged behavior in fact constitutes an express covenant and damages are barred by the stock-purchase agreement's exclusive-remedies provision; (2) appellant is not entitled to summary judgment on the claim of violation of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing; (3) the award of nominal damages is not an indemnifiable item of damages permitting appellant to an award of attorney fees; and (4) the magistrate disallowed appellant's claim for damages and, therefore, erred in awarding nominal damages as a vindication of appellant's claim. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand.

A07-0748

David Werpy, et al.,
Appellants,

vs.

McDonald Homes, Inc.,
Respondent,

James McDonald,
Defendant.

PORITSKY, Judge
Appellants David and Melissa Werpy (the Werpys) sued respondent McDonald Homes, Inc. for breach of warranty, alleging that McDonald Homes had constructed the Werpys' house defectively. The district court granted McDonald Homes's motion to dismiss. The Werpys appeal, contending that the district court erred in dismissing their complaint because the court considered facts outside of the pleadings, and they seek remand for further proceedings. McDonald Homes agrees that the district court erred in the basis for its dismissal, but argues that this court should affirm on other grounds. We reverse dismissal of the complaint and remand for further proceedings.

A07-0873

Elsie Mayard,
Appellant,

vs.

Excel Energy, Northern States Power Company,
Respondent.

MINGE, Judge
Appellant challenges the denial of her request for relief against Excel Energy, Northern States Power Company (NSP). Because we find that the district court did not abuse its discretion in dismissing appellant's claim against NSP with prejudice, we affirm.

A07-0899

Adrian Van Santen,
a/k/a Jim Van Santen,
Respondent,

vs.

Peter Van Santen, et al.,
Appellants.

KLAPHAKE, Judge
Peter and Nellie Van Santen appeal the award of summary judgment to their son, respondent Adrian, a/k/a Jim, Van Santen, granting specific performance on an option contract for the sale of a piece of land. Because the option contract is not ambiguous and there are no genuine issues of material fact regarding whether consideration was given for the option contract, respondent was entitled to summary judgment as a matter of law, and we affirm.

A07-0900

In re the Marriage of:

Roxanne Staupe, petitioner,
Respondent,

vs.

Paul Staupe,
Appellant.

KALITOWSKI, Judge
On appeal from the judgment dissolving the parties' marriage, appellant Paul Staupe argues that the district court: (1) erred in imputing income to appellant for purposes of determining his child-support obligation; (2) abused its discretion in calculating respondent's maintenance award; (3) erred in its valuation of the parties' home; (4) erred in awarding respondent a nonmarital interest in the parties' home; (5) abused its discretion in distributing the parties' marital assets and marital debt; and (6) abused its discretion in awarding respondent need-based attorney fees. We affirm.

A07-0967

In re: Estate of
John Alfred Meiners,
Deceased.


CRIPPEN, Judge
Appellant John G. Berg, formerly the personal representative and attorney of the John Alfred Meiner's estate, challenges the district court's determination that he was entitled to an award for fees of ,000 on his claim for 0,599. Because the court's order is inadequately explained and rests on errors of law and conclusions that are not sustained by findings or the record, we reverse and remand for a redetermination of the fee claim.

A07-1023

Preston L. Kelley,
Relator,

vs.

Taher Acquisition Corp.,
Respondent,

Department of Employment and Economic Development,
Respondent.

CONNOLLY, Judge
Relator challenges the unemployment-law judge's (ULJ) decision to disqualify him from receiving unemployment benefits. The ULJ concluded that relator had been sexually harassed, but quit before management was able to take corrective steps. Because relator failed to provide respondent-employer with an opportunity to take timely and appropriate action, we affirm.

A07-1043

Tim A. Lebakken,
Relator,

vs.

Express-A-Button Inc,
Respondent,

Department of Employment and Economic Development,
Respondent.

MINGE, Judge
Relator challenges the decision of the unemployment law judge (ULJ) that he is disqualified from recovering unemployment benefits, arguing that he did not quit his employment, or, if he did quit, that it was for good reason caused by his employer. We reverse.

A07-1095

Robert Tennyson,
Relator,

vs.

University of Minnesota,
Respondent.

COLLINS, Judge
Relator Robert Tennyson is a tenured professor at the University of Minnesota (the university). By petition for writ of certiorari, Tennyson challenges an adverse decision by the university's Senate Judicial Committee (SJC), imposing a one-year disciplinary suspension without pay and benefits, which the university President Robert Bruininks upheld. Tennyson contends that (1) the decision to suspend him was arbitrary, capricious, unreasonable, and unsupported by evidence in the record; (2) the decision was the result of procedural irregularity because the university impermissibly shifted the burden of proof to him; and (3) the sanction of loss of "salary or benefits" as stated is vague and confusing, and therefore unenforceable. Because the university followed its procedures and its decision has support in the record, we affirm.

A07-1096

In re the Marriage of:
Janet Therese Buzzell, petitioner,
Appellant,

vs.

Glenn Charles Buzzell,
Respondent.

HUDSON, Judge
In this dissolution dispute, appellant-mother argues that the district court (1) abused its discretion by reserving the issue of respondent's child-support obligation and ordering respondent to pay the cost of the children's sports activities; (2) abused its discretion by awarding respondent the dependency tax exemptions for the parties' two children; (3) erred by concluding that the increase in value of stock that was gifted to appellant was a marital asset; and (4) clearly erred in determining the value of the marital homestead. By notice of review, respondent-father argues that the district court abused its discretion by denying respondent's claim for spousal maintenance and that, at a minimum, the district court should have reserved the issue. We affirm in part and reverse in part.

A07-1130


Linda J. Johnson,
Relator,

vs.

J C Penney Corporation Inc.,
Respondent,

Department of Employment and Economic Development,
Respondent.

KLAPHAKE, Judge
Relator Linda Johnson challenges the determination of the unemployment law judge (ULJ) that she was disqualified from receiving benefits under Minn. Stat. 268.095, subd. 1(1) (Supp. 2005) because she quit her job without good reason caused by the employer. Because the record contains substantial evidence to support the ULJ's determination, we affirm.

A07-1154

Dean W. Alinder,
Relator,

vs.

Department of Employment and Economic Development,
Respondent.

MINGE, Judge
Relator challenges the determination of the unemployment law judge (ULJ) that he was ineligible to receive the remainder of funds in his unemployment-benefits account after his initial benefit year ended. Because we conclude that the ULJ correctly applied the relevant provisions of the unemployment insurance law and because that law provides that unemployment benefits shall not be allowed or denied on the basis of equitable or common law principles, we affirm.

A07-1198

Mann Brothers Real Estate, LLC, et al.,
Appellants,

vs.

City of Minneapolis,
Respondent.

PETERSON, Judge
In this appeal from a city zoning decision to return a conditional-use-permit application and approve a preliminary plat and site plan, appellant neighboring landowners argue that the city's decision reflected its will rather than its judgment and that the city (1) erred in failing to consider the proposed project a railroad right-of-way, (2) erred in determining that the project is substantially similar to uses permitted in the zoning district, and (3) ignored adverse impacts that the project will cause. We affirm.


A07-1318

In the Matter of the Application of Minnesota Pipe Line Company for a
Certificate of Need for a Crude Oil Pipeline
and
In the Matter of the Application to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission for a Pipeline Routing Permit for a Crude Oil Pipeline and Associated Aboveground Facilities

COLLINS, Judge
In this certiorari appeal, relators, landowners along a proposed crude-oil pipeline route, argue that (1) they did not receive adequate notice of the certificate-of-need or routing-permit proceedings, which deprived them of due process of law; (2) notice requirements in certificate-of-need proceedings violated their right to equal protection; and (3) respondent Minnesota Public Utilities Commission's decision to grant respondent Minnesota Pipeline Company LLC's applications for a certificate of need and a routing permit was arbitrary and capricious, unsupported by substantial evidence, and contained errors of law. Because the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission's decision-making process did not violate relators' due-process or equal- protection rights, and the decision to grant the certificate of need and routing permit was neither arbitrary and capricious nor unsupported by substantial evidence and did not contain errors of law, we affirm.

A07-1357

Michael J. Bui,
Relator,

vs.

Team Personnel Services Inc.,
Respondent,

Department of Employment and Economic Development,
Respondent.

MUEHLBERG, Judge
Relator challenges the decision by the unemployment law judge (ULJ) that he was disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits because he was discharged for employment misconduct. Relator argues that reports that he was belligerent and argumentative to others were untrue, and that he was not discharged, but quit because he was not given any more work. Because substantial evidence supports the ULJ's determination that relator was discharged, and the ULJ correctly determined that he was discharged for employment misconduct, we affirm.

A07-1565

Richard Byers,
Appellant,

vs.

Pharmacists Mutual Insurance Company,
Respondent.

U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
MUEHLBERG, Judge
On appeal from an order denying his motion to compel arbitration in an underinsured motorist case, appellant argues that the district court erred in concluding that appellant waived his contractual right to arbitration because (1) he did not intentionally relinquish a known right to arbitration; and (2) even if he had constructive knowledge of his right to arbitrate, respondent failed to establish prejudice if compelled to arbitrate. Because appellant relinquished a known right to arbitrate, and respondent would be prejudiced if compelled to arbitrate, we affirm.

A07-1908

Linda Corrine Hedberg Dallaire, petitioner,
Respondent,

vs.

Curtis Allen Dallaire,
Appellant.

SHUMAKER, Judge
Appellant challenges the district court's judgment in this marital-dissolution proceeding, arguing that the district court (1) abused its discretion in denying his request for a trial continuance; (2) abused its discretion by awarding respondent sole legal custody; (3) abused its discretion by ordering appellant to pay spousal maintenance; and (4) erred when it adopted portions of respondent's proposed findings of facts, conclusions of law, order for judgment, and judgment and decree. Because the district court did not abuse its discretion, we affirm.

A07-2147

In the Matter of the
Welfare of the Children of:
S.M.A. and D.S.S., Parents

HUDSON, Judge
On appeal from the termination of her parental rights, appellant-mother argues that (1) the record lacks clear and convincing evidence showing that she failed to satisfy the duties of the parent-child relationship; (2) the record does not show mother to be a palpably unfit parent; (3) the record lacks clear and convincing evidence that reasonable efforts failed to correct the conditions leading to the children's out-of-home placement; (4) the record lacks clear and convincing evidence that termination is in the children's best interests; and (5) the district court failed to make the requisite findings. We affirm.

A07-1045

Jesse C. Wolfe,
Relator,

vs.

Parks of Minnesota LLC,
Respondent,


PETERSON, Judge
This certiorari appeal is from a decision of an unemployment law judge that relator is disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits because he was discharged for employment misconduct. We affirm.
 

 
 
 

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