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Severson v. Elberon Elevator, Inc.

Iowa Supreme Court
250 N.W.2d 417 (1977)


Facts

Eugene Severson (plaintiff) owned and managed a company that ran several grain elevators in the state. Robert Blythe and Larry Mosebach owned Elberon Elevator, Inc. (EE) (defendant), a company that owned and operated the grain elevator in Elberon, Iowa. Mosebach met with Severson at the Elberon grain elevator one day in 1973. At that meeting, Severson and Mosebach entered an oral agreement for Severson to buy all of EE’s physical assets for $50,000. At the time, EE’s physical assets included: a piece of land EE was renting, a piece of land EE owned, numerous buildings on those properties, some grain inventory, vehicles, and various other pieces of equipment. When Mosebach and Blythe did not go through with the sale, Severson sued EE for specific performance to force the sale. The trial court awarded specific performance to Severson, ordering EE to go through with the sale as promised. EE appealed. EE argued that Severson needed to show that there was no adequate remedy at law, like money damages, before the court could award specific performance, and that Severson had not done that here.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (McCormick, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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