O’Shea v. High Mark Development, LLCAnnotate this Case
Defendant-Respondent High Mark Development, LLC owned a commercial building located in the City of Ammon. In 2006, it had leased a portion of the building to The Children's Center, Inc., for a period of ten years. In 2007, High Mark listed the real property for sale through its realtor. Plaintiff-Appellant Thomas O'Shea, a resident of California, learned of the property through a realtor friend in Boise. Appellant and his wife were trustees of the "Thomas and Anne O'Shea Trust u/d/t Dated November 2, 1998," which they had formed to protect their assets and provide for their children. They decided to purchase the real property. The Trust entered into a real estate contract agreeing to purchase the property from Defendant High Mark for $3.7 million. The sale closed late 2007. The Children's Center made no payments to Plaintiffs after they acquired the property. Shortly thereafter, the Children's Center vacated the property, and went out of business. Plaintiffs filed suit against High Mark and two of its principals, Gordon, Benjamin and Jared Arave arguing Defendants had induced them to acquire the property by providing false information that the Children's Center was current in its payments of rent and/or concealing or failing to disclose that the Center had failed to pay all rent due under the lease. Plaintiffs alleged claims for breach of contract and fraud by misrepresentation and nondisclosure against all of the Defendants, but the issues were narrowed after cross motions for summary judgment. The case was tried to a jury on the issues of: High Mark's breach of contract; High Mark's alleged fraud by misrepresentation and nondisclosure; Gordon Arave's alleged fraud by misrepresentation and nondisclosure; and Benjamin Arave's alleged fraud by nondisclosure. The jury returned verdicts in favor of all of those Defendants. The Plaintiffs filed a motion for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict on the issue of liability or, in the alternative, for a new trial, which the district court denied. The Plaintiffs then timely appealed. Upon review, the Supreme Court concluded that the jury could reasonably have determined that the Plaintiffs failed to prove that they were damaged by the breach and that they failed to prove that the breach of contract caused any damages. In addition, the jury could have found that the breach did not cause any damages because the Plaintiffs did not have the right to terminate the contract for the misrepresentation in an estoppel certificate. Therefore, the district court did not err in denying the motion for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict on the breach of contract claim.