Ward v. Intermountain Farmers Association

907 P.2d 264 (1995)

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Ward v. Intermountain Farmers Association

Utah Supreme Court
907 P.2d 264 (1995)

RW

Facts

In 1988, Earl Ward (plaintiff) contracted to have Intermountain Farmers Association (Intermountain) (defendant) spray Ward’s safflower field with fertilizer. Intermountain’s spray was contaminated with a powerful herbicide that wiped out Ward’s crop. In return for Intermountain’s payment of damages and assurances that future crops planted on the field would be safe, Ward signed an agreement releasing Intermountain for “any and all damages caused by the spraying of [Ward’s field] of safflower.” In 1989, Ward sowed his field with beans, but they soon withered and died. When Intermountain refused to compensate Ward for the loss, Ward sued. Intermountain argued that the release agreement precluded recovery for anything other than the damage to Ward’s 1988 safflower crop. Ward offered extrinsic evidence to show that he and Intermountain intended the release agreement to cover any damage, past or future, that could be tied to the contaminated spraying of Ward’s field. The trial court granted Intermountain’s motion for summary judgment. Ward appealed to the Utah Supreme Court.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Durham, J.)

Concurrence (Russon, J.)

Dissent (Zimmerman, C.J.)

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