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Greatamerica Leasing Corp. v. Gelfand

Court of Appeal of Iowa

October 23, 2013

GREATAMERICA LEASING CORPORATION, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
PETER S. GELFAND, D.O., P.C. and PETER S. GELFAND, D.O., Individually, Defendants-Appellants.

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Robert E. Sosalla, and Paul D. Miller, Judges.

Defendant appeals the district court's ruling granting summary judgment.

Barry Kaplan and Melissa Nine of Kaplan & Freese, L.L.P., Marshalltown, for appellants.

Randall Armentrout and Benjamin P. Roach of Nyemaster, Goode, Voigts, West, Hansell & O'Brien, Des Moines, for appellee.

Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Danilson and Tabor, JJ.

DANILSON, J.

Peter S. Gelfand, D.O., P.C. and Dr. Peter Gelfand, individually (Gelfand) appeal the district court's ruling granting summary judgment to GreatAmerica Financial Services Corporation. Gelfand contends the district court erred by granting summary judgment when genuine issues of material facts exist. Specifically, Gelfand argues there is question whether Verathon, the vender to the agreement in question, was acting as an agent of Great America when it purportedly fraudulently induced him to sign the contract. Upon our review, we affirm.

I. Background Facts and Proceedings.

Great America is a financial services corporation located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The company is a source of financing to businesses that acquire commercial equipment from third party vendors. Dr. Gelfand operates a medical practice in New York, which is incorporated in his name.

The parties entered into an agreement signed by Gelfand both personally and on the behalf of Peter S. Gelfand, D.O., P.C. Gelfand signed the agreement after meeting with Verathon on November 16, 2010. The agreement required Gelfand to provide sixty monthly payments of $266.00 to GreatAmerica. In exchange, GreatAmerica provided the initial financing for a piece of medical equipment that was supplied to Gelfand by third party vendor, Verathon Medical. The agreement provided, in part:

VENDOR (Vendor is not lessor's agent, nor is Vendor authorized to waive or alter any term or condition of this Agreement): Verathon Medical
TERM IN MONTHS: 60 . . . .
THIS AGREEMENT IS NON-CANCELABLE FOR THE ENTIRE AGREEMENT TERM. YOU UNDERSTAND WE ARE PAYING FOR THE EQUIPMENT BASED ON YOUR UNCONDITIONAL ACCEPTANCE OF IT AND YOUR PROMISE TO PAY U.S. UNDER THE TERMS OF THIS AGREEMENT, WITHOUT SET-OFFS FOR ANY REASON, EVEN IF THE EQUIPMENT DOES NOT WORK OR IS DAMAGED, EVEN IF IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT.
. . . MISCELLANEOUS. This Agreement is the entire agreement between you and us and supersedes any prior representations or agreements, including any purchase orders. Amounts payable under this Agreement may include a profit to us. The original or this Agreement shall be that copy which bears your facsimile or original signature, and ...

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