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Grell v. Poulsen
Iowa Supreme Court
389 N.W.2d 661 (1986)
Paul Poulsen (defendant) operated a business distributing drink mixes that were manufactured by John Underwood (defendant). Poulsen employed William Grell and Grell’s wife (plaintiffs) to operate his business ventures in Iowa City. William Grell’s brother was also in the drink-mix business. Poulsen had a falling out with Grell. The Grells sued Poulsen, alleging that Poulsen had orally agreed to give Grell and his wife a partnership interest in Poulsen’s business, and seeking quantum meruit. The Grells later added Underwood as a defendant, alleging that he had usurped their partnership position with Poulsen. Poulsen and Underwood counterclaimed the Grells, seeking damages and alleging abuse of process. Specifically, Poulsen and Underwood alleged that the Grells initiated their lawsuit in order to benefit the business of William Grell’s brother. A jury rejected the Grells’s claim for quantum meruit, instead finding in favor of the defendants. The jury awarded damages to Poulsen and Underwood for abuse of process. The Grells moved for judgment notwithstanding the verdict and a directed verdict. The trial court rejected these motions and entered judgment against the Grells. The Grells appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Wolle, J.)
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