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Ruud v. Larson

Supreme Court of North Dakota
392 N.W.2d 62 (1986)


Facts

In 1966, Ruud (plaintiff) leased property to Larson (defendant) for a ten-year term, at the conclusion of which the lease was renewed for another ten years. Larson operated Mid-State Oil Company on the premises. In 1981, Larson failed to pay property taxes, and in early 1982, Larson failed to pay rent for two months. Rudd sued for breach of the lease, and the trial court found that Larson failed to pay real estate taxes from 1981 to 1985, and rent totaling $24,500. Larson had attempted to find a sublessor to pay $1,200 per month in rent. Before trial, Mid-State had declared bankruptcy and the bankruptcy court approved the sale of substantially all of Mid-State’s assets to Charles Luna. Larson and Luna agreed that Larson would pay all tax arrearages. After Larson vacated the premises, Ruud repaired and advertised the premises for rent. These efforts produced 140 contacts and fifty prospective tenants. The trial court found that Ruud had made diligent efforts to mitigate damages. Larson appealed, arguing that the district court erred in finding that Ruud had made a good faith effort to mitigate.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Gierke, J.)

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Dissent (Levine, J.)

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