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Case No. 20-1146

Cooley Pumping, LLC
Greg Melcher and Lisa Melcher


Cooley Pumping, LLC


Greg Melcher and Lisa Melcher

Attorney for the Appellee

Mark W. Fransdal and Bradley M. Strouse

Attorney for the Appellant

Bruce J. Toenjes

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
Date Published:
Oct 06, 2021

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Grundy County, David P. Odekirk, Judge.  AFFIRMED AND REMANDED.  Heard by Mullins, P.J., and May and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Mullins, P.J.  (22 pages)

            Greg and Lisa Melcher appeal a district court order in favor of Cooley Pumping, LLC, related to the design and installation of their septic system.  The Melchers raised several issues on appeal including arguments that the district court applied incorrect legal standards, newly discovered evidence should have led to a new trial, and the district court made multiple errors in awarding attorney fees and costs.  OPINION HOLDS: On our review of the record, we find the district court applied the correct standard of compliance to the contractual issues presented and substantial evidence was presented to support the conclusion that Cooley Pumping substantially performed the terms of the contract.  Cooley Pumping’s substantial performance was appropriately considered as a defense to the Melchers’ counterclaims.  Furthermore, we agree with the district court’s denial of motions for new trial because there was no newly discovered evidence that existed at the time of trial to support a motion, no prejudice resulted from the late designation of an expert witness, and substantial justice was done between the parties.  Finally, we find no abuse of discretion in the district court’s calculation or award of attorney fees or costs.  We remand for a determination of appellate attorney fees. 

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