APPEAL FROM: District Court of the Sixth Judicial District, In and For the County of Sweet Grass, Cause No. DV 09-42 Honorable Wm. Nels Swandal, Presiding Judge
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Michael E Wheat
Submitted on Briefs: March 27, 2013
Justice Michael E Wheat delivered the Opinion of the Court.
¶1 Pursuant to Section I, Paragraph 3(d), Montana Supreme Court Internal Operating Rules, this case is decided by memorandum opinion and shall not be cited and does not serve as precedent. Its case title, cause number, and disposition shall be included in this Court's quarterly list of noncitable cases published in the Pacific Reporter and Montana Reports.
¶2 Loren Ellison (Ellison) sued Laurence Larson (Larson) for damages arising out of an alleged breach of contract. The District Court granted summary judgment to Larson. We affirm.
¶3 On October 12, 2007, Larson and Ellison entered into a "Quarry Agreement" (Agreement) which authorized Ellison to excavate, quarry, and remove rock from Larson's property, subject to an agreed per pound royalty. The Agreement contained eight (8) paragraphs, but the pertinent provisions of the Agreement state as follows:
This Agreement will be for a term of two years and may be renewed for a like time under similar terms and conditions subject to negotiation of royalty payments. (Paragraph 4)
Either party may terminate this Agreement upon 90 days written notice to the other. (Paragraph 6)
The concluding paragraph of the Agreement states:
THIS AMENDMENT contains the entire agreement between the parties, and may be modified or terminated only by written agreement of the parties, or their successors in interest.
¶4 Ellison commenced his excavation activities and in the process discovered a quantity of sandstone containing valuable dinosaur footprints. On October 7, 2009, Larson, through his attorney, notified Ellison, in writing, that pursuant to paragraph 6 of the Agreement he was "terminating the [A]greement." In November 2009, Ellison sued Larson for damages, asserting five theories of recovery: breach of contract, intentional interference with prospective economic advantage, intentional interference with contractual relations, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and ...