The Watkins Co. LLC v. StormsAnnotate this Case
This case concerned a commercial lease between Defendants-Appellants-Cross-Appellants Michael Storms and Kathy Burggraf and the Plaitniff-Respondent-Cross-Appellant Watkins Company, LLC’s predecessor in interest, Watkins and Watkins for a restaurant and microbrewery in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Watkins filed a lawsuit seeking to enforce the lease after Storms and Burggraf failed to timely pay the rent. The issues were tried to the district court, which found that Storms and Burggraf had materially breached the lease and that Watkins could regain possession of the property. The district court also found that Storms and Burggraf had been unjustly enriched by failing to pay rent for additional storage space. Further, the district court found that the lease's provision for accelerated rent was a liquidated damages clause and found it be unconscionable. Storms and Burggraf appealed the district court’s decision, arguing that an accord and satisfaction had been reached between the parties and that the court erred in its finding of the rent for the upstairs storage area above the restaurant. Watkins argued on cross-appeal that the district court based its finding regarding the accelerated rent on insufficient evidence. Because of an error in the district court's finding regarding the upstairs storage area, the Supreme Court vacated that part of the court's order but upheld the remaining issues.