Archive | July, 2015

Hein v. Sott

Hein v. Sott, 2015 MT 196 (July 14, 2015) (Baker, J.) (5-0, aff’d & rev’d)

Issue: (1) Whether Hein’s negligence and negligent misrepresentation claims were barred by the statute of repose; (2) whether Hein’s Consumer Protection Act claims were barred by the statute of limitations; and (3) whether the district court erred in granting summary judgment because Hein did not provide expert testimony on causation for his Consumer Protection Act claim arising from Sott’s alleged breach of contract and deceptive billing practices.

Short Answer: (1) Yes; (2) Yes for claims arising more than two years before Hein filed suit, but no for claims arising within the two years prior to Hein’s complaint; (3) Yes, as no expert testimony is necessary for issues that are not beyond the common experience of the trier of fact.…

Morrow v. Monfric, Inc.

Morrow v. Monfric, Inc., 2015 MT 194 (July 7, 2015) (McKinnon, J.; Cotter, J., concurring; Wheat, J., dissenting) (6-1, aff’d)

Issue: Whether the district court abused its discretion in denying class certification on the grounds that the proposed class was not sufficiently numerous.

Short Answer: No.

Affirmed

Facts: Plaintiffs are laborers who worked on multi-family housing projects I Kalispell. The project owner, Glacier States Associates, hired Monfric, Inc. as the general contractor. Monfric hired subcontractors to perform all labor on the projects. Plaintiffs are employees of those subcontractors. Because the projects were financed with industrial development bonds issued by the city of Kalispell, Montana law requires the contractor to pay prevailing wages. Plaintiff claims the contracts between Monfric and the subcontractors did not include a provision requiring prevailing wages, and further, that they were not paid prevailing wages.…

Marriage of Steyh

Marriage of Steyh, 2015 MT 193 (July 7, 2015) (Cotter, J.) (5-0, rev’d)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court erred in holding that William’s statements made in the March 2012 dissolution hearing were judicial admissions; and (2) whether the district court erred in precluding William from presenting evidence of the value of the real property based on the judicial admissions.

Short Answer: (1) Yes, and (2) yes.

Reversed and remanded

Facts: Julie petitioned for dissolution and included a proposal for distribution of the marital assets, under which William would have been awarded the couple’s house and property on Hobson Street in Butte. William elected to default.

The district court held a final dissolution hearing at which both parties appeared pro se.…

Masters Group Internat’l, Inc. v. Comerica Bank

Masters Group Internat’l, Inc. v. Comerica Bank, 2015 MT 192 (July 1, 2015) (Baker, J. wrote an opinion in which Shea, J., joined; Shea, J. concurred; Rice, J., concurred and dissented and was joined by McKinnon, J.; Cotter, J., concurred and dissented, and was joined by McGrath, C.J., and Wheat, J.) (aff’d & rev’d)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court abused its discretion in denying Comerica’s motion to sever; (2) whether the district court erred in applying Montana law despite the contractual choice-of-law provision; (3) whether the district court erred in not deciding contract formation issues as a matter of law; (4) whether the district court erred by allowing TARP evidence to be presented to the jury.

Short Answer: (1) No (Baker, Shea, Cotter, McGrath, Wheat); (2) yes (Baker, Shea, Cotter, McGrath, Wheat); (3) no (5-Baker, Shea, Cotter, McGrath, Wheat- to 2-Rice, McKinnon); (4) yes (7-0 agree admission was error, but 4 (Baker, Shea, Rice.…