Case 1: TRANS-WESTERN v. U.S. GYPSUM, 2016 UT 27
The Utah Supreme Court was posed the question of whether expectation damages are available in a breach of oil and gas lease case. Although, the court had never before dealt with the specific question of how expectation damages are to be measured for the breach of an oil and gas lease, the answer is a familiar one because under Utah law, the court generally treats leases like other contracts. And the court saw no reason to vary from that practice here. Therefore, expectation damages for the breach of an oil and gas lease, just like expectation damages for a breach of contract, may consist of general and consequential damages. General damages are to be measured as the difference between the contract price of the lease and the market value of the lease at the time of the breach. Consequential damages are unique to a particular case, and parties must establish that they were caused by the breach, establish that they were foreseeable, and establish the amount of damages with reasonable certainty.
Case 2: FORT PIERCE v. SHAKESPEARE, 2016 UT 28
In this case, the Utah Supreme Court was asked to decide how CC&Rs should be interpreted by courts and whether an Industrial Park Association's Board erred in denying a property owner an application to install a cell tower on the owner's property. The Utah Supreme Court found that restrictive covenants should be interpreted neutrally according to the same principles as contracts and not strictly construed against the restrictive covenants. The Utah Supreme Court held that the Association Board’s denial of the cell phone tower application by industrial park property owner was authorized under the CC&Rs.
Case 3: Schenk Family v. NorthShore, 2016 UT App 124
In this case, the Utah Court of Appeals was asked to interpret a Lease Agreement. The Lease provided for the forfeiture of certain property as a remedy in the breach provisions for payment of rent and taxes and for obtaining insurance. The trial court ruled that the forfeiture remedy applied to all breaches under the Lease. The Utah Court of Appeals disagreed and held that the forfeiture remedy only applied to the specific provisions for payment of rent and taxes and for obtaining insurance.
Case 4: Clearwater Farms LLC v. Giles, 2016 UT App 126
In this case, the Utah Court of Appeals was asked to review whether a trial court erred in limiting a public right of way's boundaries to the historical use and not considering potential future uses in its determination of the boundaries of the right of way. The Utah Court of Appeals deferred to the trial court's decision as it did not exceed the discretion afforded to the the trial court by law.