from the District Court of McKenzie County, Northwest
Judicial District, the Honorable Robin Ann Schmidt, Judge.
M. Jackson, for plaintiff and appellee.
T. Foss, for defendant and appellant.
1] Twalker Development, LLC appeals from a judgment granting
KLE Construction LLC's claim for unjust enrichment and
ordering Twalker to pay $87, 958.74 in damages. We affirm,
concluding the district court did not err in granting
KLE's unjust enrichment claim and awarding damages.
2] KLE is a construction company, providing civil
construction services in western North Dakota and eastern
Montana. Twalker is a real estate development company seeking
to develop real estate in McKenzie County.
3] KLE and Twalker engaged in negotiations for KLE to provide
construction services to Twalker in exchange for four lots
located in Twalker's development. KLE and Twalker never
executed a written contract finalizing the terms of an
agreement. KLE began performing construction services on the
property, including preliminary dirt work related to clearing
and scraping the property. KLE also hired an engineering firm
to create plans to subdivide the property for future sales.
KLE and Twalker disagreed about certain aspects of the
project, and Twalker terminated KLE's services. Twalker
continued to develop the property and did not compensate KLE
for the services it provided.
4] KLE sued Twalker for breach of contract, unjust
enrichment, and forbearance. After a bench trial, the
district court dismissed KLE's breach of contract claim,
finding KLE failed to establish the existence of a contract.
The court dismissed KLE's forbearance claim, stating
forbearance is not a separate and distinct claim. The court
granted KLE's unjust enrichment claim and found KLE was
entitled to $90, 857 in damages. The court ordered each party
pay the other party's costs and disbursements. A judgment
was entered in favor of KLE for $87, 958.74.
5] In Border Res., LLC v. Irish Oil & Gas, Inc.,
2015 ND 238, ¶ 14, 869 N.W.2d 758 (quoting Brash v.
Gulleson, 2013 ND 156, ¶ 7, 835 N.W.2d 798), we
explained the standard of review for an appeal from a bench
[T]he trial court's findings of fact are reviewed under
the clearly erroneous standard of N.D.R.Civ.P. 52(a) and its
conclusions of law are fully reviewable. A finding of fact is
clearly erroneous if it is induced by an erroneous view of
the law, if there is no evidence to support it, or if, after
reviewing all the evidence, we are left with a definite and
firm conviction a mistake has been made. In a bench trial,
the trial court is the determiner of credibility issues and
we do not second-guess the trial court on its credibility
district court's determination of whether the facts
support a finding of unjust enrichment is fully reviewable on
appeal. Northstar Founders, LLC v. Hayden ...