Hennepin County District Court File No. 27-CV-10-24879
Thomas J. Conley, Law Office of Thomas J. Conley, Minneapolis, Minnesota (for respondent)
Heather L. Marx, Cozen O'Connor, Minneapolis, Minnesota (for appellants)
Considered and decided by Larkin, Presiding Judge; Halbrooks, Judge; and Worke, Judge.
Appellants challenge the district court's award of summary judgment to respondent, arguing that there are genuine issues of material fact regarding their contractual liability and damages. We affirm.
On October 8, 2008, appellant Baja Sol Cantina EP, LLC entered into a commercial lease with respondent Lariat Companies Inc. The lease term was ten years, with a fixed annual rent. Baja Sol Cantina's president, appellant Michael R. Wigley, executed the lease on Baja Sol Cantina's behalf. Wigley also signed a personal guaranty.
Baja Sol Cantina was evicted for nonpayment of rent on July 1, 2010, and ordered to vacate the premises. Lariat sued appellants for breach of contract and sought judgment, jointly and severally, for unpaid rent and attorney fees and costs. Lariat moved for summary judgment, which was granted after a hearing on the motion. The district court awarded Lariat $2, 224, 237 in damages, pre- and post-judgment interest, and reasonable attorney fees. This appeal follows.
"A motion for summary judgment shall be granted when the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue of material fact and that either party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Fabio v. Bellomo, 504 N.W.2d 758, 761 (Minn. 1993). "[T]here is no genuine issue of material fact for trial when the nonmoving party presents evidence which merely creates a metaphysical doubt as to a factual issue and which is not sufficiently probative with respect to an essential element of the nonmoving party's case to permit reasonable persons to draw different conclusions." DLH, Inc. v. Russ, 566 N.W.2d 60, 71 (Minn. 1997). "[T]he party resisting summary judgment must do more than rest on mere averments." Id.
"[Appellate courts] review a district court's summary judgment decision de novo. In doing so, we determine whether the district court properly applied the law and whether there are genuine issues of material fact that preclude summary judgment." Riverview Muir Doran, LLC v. JADT Dev. Grp., LLC, 790 N.W.2d 167, 170 (Minn. 2010) (citation omitted). "On appeal, the reviewing court must view the evidence in the light ...