Thompson v. Pike, No. 20549

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Idaho
Writing for the CourtMcDEVITT; JOHNSON, TROUT and SILAK, JJ., and REINHARDT
Citation125 Idaho 897,876 P.2d 595
Decision Date29 June 1994
Docket NumberNo. 20549
PartiesGlen O. THOMPSON, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. Dona Adams PIKE and Anderson, Pike & Bush, Defendants-Respondents. Pocatello, May 1994 Term

Page 595

876 P.2d 595
125 Idaho 897
Glen O. THOMPSON, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
Dona Adams PIKE and Anderson, Pike & Bush, Defendants-Respondents.
No. 20549.
Supreme Court of Idaho,
Pocatello, May 1994 Term.
June 29, 1994.

[125 Idaho 898]

Page 596

Ellis, Brown & Sheils, Boise, for appellant. Allen B. Ellis argued.

Racine, Olson, Nye, Cooper & Budge, Pocatello, for respondents. William D. Olson argued.

McDEVITT, Chief Justice.

Appellant, Glen Thompson ("Thompson"), brought a professional malpractice action against respondent, Dona Pike ("Pike"), for negligence. Pike allegedly misadvised Thompson that an oral settlement agreement entered into in a wrongful termination action against Thompson's former employer was binding, inducing him to sign a written release. Pike's representation allegedly caused Thompson to compromise a much larger settlement payment, because Thompson would not have signed the release had he known the oral agreement was not binding. Initially, the trial court granted Pike's motion for summary judgment and this Court reversed and remanded the case on a prior appeal, holding that a genuine issue of material fact existed as to whether the oral agreement was binding. Thompson v. Pike, 122 Idaho 690, 838 P.2d 293 (1992) (Thompson I ) On remand, the trial court again granted Pike's motion for summary judgment after receiving additional evidence on the issue. Thompson appeals the ruling. We reverse.

BACKGROUND

Pike represented Thompson in a wrongful termination action against Thompson's former employer, Suburban Propane ("Vangas"). After extensive preliminary negotiations, Vangas offered to settle the claim for $15,000. Thompson accepted the offer and agreed to release all claims against Vangas. Pike communicated Thompson's acceptance to Vangas' attorney via telephone on July 31, 1987, and via letter on August 3, 1987. Vangas'

Page 597

[125 Idaho 899] attorney in turn sent Pike a letter containing a release for Thompson to sign "to reflect the settlement of this claim per our phone conversation." Thompson expressed to Pike his dissatisfaction with the provisions of the release, emphasizing his concern that the release would compromise his right to profit sharing, and on September 4, 1987, submitted four alternate proposals. In response, Pike wrote to Thompson informing him that she had forwarded the proposals to Vangas, but that he was bound by the oral settlement agreement. Pike also wrote that Vangas had rejected the proposals and he remained bound by the $15,000 oral agreement. Thompson then signed the release on September 29, 1987, after receiving written assurance from Vangas that Thompson retained his right to profit sharing.

On September 28, 1989, Thompson brought a negligence cause of action against Pike for professional malpractice, alleging that she negligently misinformed him that the July 31, 1987 agreement was binding. Pike moved for summary judgment, alleging that the claim was barred by the statute of limitation. Pike submitted two sworn affidavits in support of the motion. The trial court granted Pike's motion for summary judgment, ruling as a matter of law that a binding settlement agreement with Vangas was formed on July 31, 1987, and, therefore, Thompson's complaint was barred by the I.C. § 5-219(4) two-year statute of limitation. On appeal, this Court held that a genuine issue of material fact existed whether a binding oral agreement was formed on July 31, 1987, precluding summary judgment on the statute of limitation ground. Thompson I, 122 Idaho at 698, 838 P.2d at 301.

On remand, Pike again moved for summary judgment, filing two more affidavits concerning the July 31, 1987 agreement, one sworn by herself and one by Vangas' attorney, Mr. McIver. Thompson also submitted a supplemental affidavit from an expert witness attorney, Mr. Latta, who opined that Pike was negligent and breached the applicable standard of care when advising Thompson that a binding agreement was formed on July 31, 1987. On March 11, 1993, Pike took the deposition of Mr. Latta, who admitted that the July 31, 1987 oral settlement was binding and enforceable.

On March 17, 1993, the trial court again granted the motion, ruling that no genuine issue of material fact concerning the intent of the parties to be bound by the July 31, 1987 agreement existed. The trial court found not only that the cause of action was barred by the statute of limitation because it was filed more than two years after the date of the alleged injury, July 31, 1987, but also that there could be no negligence because Pike's advice that the July 31, 1987 agreement...

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19 practice notes
  • Aberdeen-Springfield Canal v. Peiper, No. 23912.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • May 26, 1999
    ...unreasonably or without foundation.'" Lanham v. Idaho Power Co., 130 Idaho 486, 500, 943 P.2d 912, 926 (1997) (quoting Thompson v. Pike, 125 Idaho 897, 901, 876 P.2d 595, 599 (1994)). Because we are not so persuaded we do not award attorney fees on appeal. ASCC did not request attorney fees......
  • Electrical Wholesale Supply Co. v. Nielson, No. 25807.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • December 31, 2001
    ...misapplied the law. Andrews v. Idaho Forest Indus., Inc., 117 Idaho 195, 198, 786 P.2d 586, 589 (Ct.App. 1990); Cf. Thompson v. Pike, 125 Idaho 897, 876 P.2d 595 (1994) (court declined to award attorney fees under I.C. § 12-121 in a legal malpractice action because it did not believe the ap......
  • Boise Mode, LLC v. Pace, 39229.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • January 24, 2013
    ...inferences in that party's favor." Jenkins v. Boise Cascade Corp., 141 Idaho 233, 238, 108 P.3d 380, 385 (2005) (citing Thompson v. Pike, 125 Idaho 897, 899, 876 P.2d 595, 597 (1994) ). However, "the adverse party may not rest upon mere allegations in the pleadings, but must set forth by af......
  • Boise Mode, LLC v. Donahoe Pace & Partners Ltd., No. 39229.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • January 24, 2013
    ...inferences in that party's favor.” Jenkins v. Boise Cascade Corp., 141 Idaho 233, 238, 108 P.3d 380, 385 (2005) (citing Thompson v. Pike, 125 Idaho 897, 899, 876 P.2d 595, 597 (1994)). However, “the adverse party may not rest upon mere allegations in the pleadings, but must set forth by aff......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
19 cases
  • Aberdeen-Springfield Canal v. Peiper, No. 23912.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • May 26, 1999
    ...unreasonably or without foundation.'" Lanham v. Idaho Power Co., 130 Idaho 486, 500, 943 P.2d 912, 926 (1997) (quoting Thompson v. Pike, 125 Idaho 897, 901, 876 P.2d 595, 599 (1994)). Because we are not so persuaded we do not award attorney fees on appeal. ASCC did not request attorney fees......
  • Electrical Wholesale Supply Co. v. Nielson, No. 25807.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • December 31, 2001
    ...misapplied the law. Andrews v. Idaho Forest Indus., Inc., 117 Idaho 195, 198, 786 P.2d 586, 589 (Ct.App. 1990); Cf. Thompson v. Pike, 125 Idaho 897, 876 P.2d 595 (1994) (court declined to award attorney fees under I.C. § 12-121 in a legal malpractice action because it did not believe the ap......
  • Boise Mode, LLC v. Pace, 39229.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • January 24, 2013
    ...inferences in that party's favor." Jenkins v. Boise Cascade Corp., 141 Idaho 233, 238, 108 P.3d 380, 385 (2005) (citing Thompson v. Pike, 125 Idaho 897, 899, 876 P.2d 595, 597 (1994) ). However, "the adverse party may not rest upon mere allegations in the pleadings, but must set forth by af......
  • Boise Mode, LLC v. Donahoe Pace & Partners Ltd., No. 39229.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • January 24, 2013
    ...inferences in that party's favor.” Jenkins v. Boise Cascade Corp., 141 Idaho 233, 238, 108 P.3d 380, 385 (2005) (citing Thompson v. Pike, 125 Idaho 897, 899, 876 P.2d 595, 597 (1994)). However, “the adverse party may not rest upon mere allegations in the pleadings, but must set forth by aff......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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