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Reid v. Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company

Utah Supreme Court
776 P.2d 896 (1989)


Facts

In 1980, Mutual of Omaha (Mutual) (defendant) leased property from Mervin and Ethna Reid (plaintiffs) for a term of five years. Soon after, the adjacent space was leased to Intermountain Marketing (Intermountain). Mutual complained to the Reids that Intermountain’s employees were too noisy, occupied all of Mutual’s parking spaces, and otherwise interfered with Mutual’s operations. In 1982, Mutual vacated the premises, and the Reids sued to recover unpaid rent for the remainder of the lease term. Mutual counterclaimed for constructive eviction based on the Reids' failure to address the former’s complaints regarding Intermountain. During litigation, the Reids remodeled Mutual’s former space and leased it to Intermountain for the remainder of the five-year term. Several months later, however, Intermountain filed for bankruptcy and vacated, after which the property remained unoccupied. The trial court rejected Mutual’s constructive-eviction claim and awarded the Reids the total rent due for the remainder of the lease term minus rents received from Intermountain for the subject premises. Mutual appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Zimmerman, J.)

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