Osguthorpe v ASC Utah, Inc.

Osguthorpe appealed a jury verdict for ACS on its bad faith claim and a judgment after bench trial rejecting injunctive relief and reformation of the parties lease for the period 2006 to 2011. The Court affirmed in part and modified in part. It held that the jury verdict became final in 2011 when the district court designated it final under Rule of Civil Procedure 54. Thus, review was barred for Osguthorpe’s arguments that he was entitled to a jury trial on termination or reformation of the restated agreement and that the district court erred in not charging the jury on those issues because the notice of appeal was not field within 30 days of the entry of final judgment. The Court clarified that when reviewing the grant or denial of injunctive relief, initial legal determinations or reviewed for correctness but application of those standards is only reviewed for abuse of discretion. Here, the Court held there was no abuse of discretion in the district court’s determination that the damage to the land in question could be remedied through money damages as Osguthorpe’s own expert agreed the damage could be remedied and thus injunctive relief was unavailable. The court held that prospective reformation was appropriate here as another entity held a 50% interest in the payments made by ASC under the parties’ lease and retroactive reformation would work hardship on that entity. The Court finally held that the district court erred in ruling neither Osguthorpe nor the other entity was entitled to payments made by ASC during 2006 and 2011 but rejected by Osguthorpe as the issue was not raised in the litigation and the other entity was not a party to the litigation and vacated that portion of the judgment.