Troutman v. Pierce, Inc.

402 N.W.2d 920 (1987)

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Troutman v. Pierce, Inc.

North Dakota Supreme Court
402 N.W.2d 920 (1987)

  • Written by Robert Cane, JD

Facts

Edward and Debra Troutman (plaintiffs) purchased a mobile home from Pierce, Incorporated (defendant). Schult Home Corporation (Schult) (defendant) manufactured the mobile home. The Troutmans discovered that the mobile home had a moisture or water problem that led to several issues with the home. Neither Schult nor Pierce remedied the problem despite previously remedying minor issues with the home after purchase. The Troutmans sued Schult and Pierce for revocation of acceptance of the mobile home, damages, costs, and attorney’s fees under the Magnuson-Moss-Federal Trade Commission Improvement Act. The jury found that Schult and Pierce had breached their warranties and that the Troutmans had a right to revoke their acceptance. The court awarded damages to the Troutmans and attorney’s fees and costs to their attorney. The attorney stated that 5 to 10 percent of his time was spent on issues on which the Troutmans did not prevail at trial. The court reduced the award of attorney’s fees by 15 percent. Schult appealed to the North Dakota Supreme Court, arguing that the trial court abused its discretion in awarding attorney’s fees because the Troutmans did not prevail on every issue raised in the pleadings and that reimbursement for lodging and travel expenses was not permissible.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Gierke, J.)

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