Gibbs v. AltenhofenAnnotate this Case
James Altenhofen was the trustee of the Gibbs’ family trust and Delwin Nordtvedt was the successor trustee. Nordtvedt filed an action requesting that the court determine whether any restrictions existed in the trust agreement limiting the trustee’s power to sell the real and personal property included in the trust estate. The Gibbs filed cross-claims against Nordtvedt. The district court granted summary judgment for Nordtvedt, concluding that the prudent investor rule called for the sale of certain property. The Gibbs then filed a complaint against Nordtvedt and Altenhofen, alleging breach of fiduciary duty. The trial court concluded (1) the claims against Nordtvedt were barred by the doctrines of issue preclusion, judicial estoppel, and claim preclusion; and (2) the claims against Altenhofen were barred by the statute of limitations. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed and remanded in part, holding that the district court (1) erred in finding that some of the Gibbs’ claims against Nordtvedt were barred by the doctrine of claim preclusion; (2) did not err in finding that some of the Gibbs’ claims were barred by the doctrines of judicial estoppel and issue preclusion; and (3) did not err in concluding that the claims against Altenhofen were time-barred.