Barkley, Inc. v. Gabriel Brothers, Inc., No. 15-2307 (8th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Barkley filed suit against Gabriel Brothers, alleging breach of a master services agreement. In the alternative, Barkley alleged that Gabriel Brothers breached a subsequent agreement to pay "actual costs" and Gabriel Brothers was unjustly enriched. The court concluded that the district court did not err in granting summary judgment to Gabriel Brothers on Barkley’s breach-of-the-agreement claim because the alleged February 21, 2013, draft 2013 statement of work was not part of a written contract and the document did not contain the agreement’s incorporation clause. The court also concluded that Barkley’s damages claim was liquidated and that the district court should have awarded prejudgment interest; assuming that the district court’s statement constituted a sua sponte summary judgment on the actual-costs contract claim, the court concluded that Gabriel Brothers was given adequate notice and that the district court therefore did not err in granting partial summary judgment in Barkley's favor on that claim; the court rejected Gabriel Brothers's evidentiary challenges; the district court did not abuse its discretion by denying Gabriel Brothers's motion for judgment as a matter of law where a reasonable jury could find from the evidence that the parties had formed a contract for Gabriel Brothers to pay Barkley's actual costs; a jury could reasonably find that Barkley was entitled to $138,223.52; and, in regard to attorney's fees, the court agreed with the district court that neither party was the prevailing party. Accordingly, the court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded for entry of an award of prejudgment interest.