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Holscher v. James

Idaho Supreme Court
860 P.2d 646 (1993)


In March 1989, Curtis and Brenda James (defendants) agreed to purchase a cabin from Ernest and Abbielena Holscher (plaintiffs). The purchase agreement listed the closing date as May 1, 1989. The agreement also allowed the Jameses to void the agreement “should the premises be materially damaged by fire or other causes, prior to closing this sale.” On April 5, 1989, the Jameses insured the cabin with State Farm. The State Farm agent listed the Holschers in the section of the insurance binder entitled “other interests.” On April 5, 1989, the Jameses took possession of the property. On April 11, 1989, a fire destroyed the cabin. The Jameses voided the purchase agreement. The Holschers sued the Jameses and State Farm. The Holschers argued that, under a theory of equitable conversion, the risk of pre-closing losses was on the Jameses. Further, the Holschers argued that State Farm was liable to the Holschers as intended insurance beneficiaries. The trial court did not apply the doctrine of equitable conversion. However, the trial court did enter judgment for the Holschers, finding: (1) State Farm was liable to the Jameses under the insurance binder and (2) the Jameses owed insurance proceeds to the Holschers for the value of the cabin under a theory of equitable rescission. The parties appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Silak, J.)

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