Bolognese v. ForteAnnotate this Case
The issue before the Supreme Court in this case was a jury verdict in favor of the sellers of real property in an action by the buyers to recover damages or be granted rescission of the sale contract on the ground that the sellers made misrepresentations and breached the contract and the Idaho Property Condition Disclosure Act. The buyers also sought to raise the issue of mutual mistake. About a year after purchasing the property, Buyers hired a contractor to see if the garage could be enlarged. The Contractor discovered that the building permit obtained to construct the garage had not been finalized, so that it had lapsed. The permit had been issued in 2000 to construct a garage with storage space above it. In connection with the sale, Sellers completed and delivered to Buyers a property disclosure form as required by the Idaho Property Condition Disclosure Act. When completing that form, Sellers answered "No" to the question: "Have any substantial additions or alterations been made without a building permit?" In 2007, Buyers filed this lawsuit against Sellers seeking damages for breach of the Disclosure Act, misrepresentation, and breach of contract. They also sought, in the alternative, to have the real estate contract rescinded. The matter was tried to a jury in 2010, on the three theories seeking damages. The jury returned a special verdict finding that Buyers had failed to prove a violation of the Disclosure Act, had failed to prove misrepresentation, and had failed to prove a breach of contract. On the second day of trial, Sellers moved to prevent Buyers from raising the issue of mutual mistake of fact, which Buyers had apparently discussed in their pretrial brief. The matter was argued, and the district court ruled that Buyers could not present evidence regarding mutual mistake because it had not been pled. On February 25, 2010, and again on March 8, 2010, Buyers moved to amend their complaint to conform to the evidence by adding a request for rescission based upon mutual mistake. On March 8, 2010, Buyers moved to have the real estate contract rescinded, and on August 30, 2010, they moved for a new trial. The district court denied those motions, and Buyers timely appealed. Upon review, the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court and the court's denial of the motion for a new trial.