GREATAMERICA FINANCIAL SERVICES CORPORATION f/k/a GREATAMERICA LEASING CORPORATION, Plaintiff-Appellee/Cross-Appellant,
PRESTWOOD FUNERAL HOME, INC. and ROY VANCE PRESTWOOD JR., Defendants-Appellants/Cross-Appellees.
from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Sean W.
parties appeal the district court's decision following a
bench trial involving the terms of a copy machine lease
agreement. AFFIRMED AND REMANDED.
C. Riley of Tom Riley Law Firm, P.L.C., Cedar Rapids, for
M. Stensland of Simmons Perrine Moyer Bergman P.L.C., Cedar
Rapids, for appellee.
Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Vogel and Vaitheswaran, JJ.
Funeral Home, Inc. and Roy Vance Prestwood Jr. (Prestwood)
appeal, and GreatAmerica Financial Services Corporation
(GreatAmerica) cross-appeals, following the district
court's decision interpreting the terms of the
parties' lease agreement for a copy machine. Prestwood
contends substantial evidence does not support the district
court's decision that awarded damages to GreatAmerica and
the district court abuse its discretion in the amount awarded
for GreatAmerica's attorney fee claim. In its
cross-appeal, GreatAmerica claims the attorney fee award
should be increased. We affirm the district court's
decision in its entirety, denying both the appeal and
cross-appeal, and we remand for a determination of appellate
Background Facts and Proceedings.
signed a contract to finance the lease of a copy machine with
Modular Document Solutions. That lease agreement was assigned
by Modular to GreatAmerica. The lease agreement provided for
a monthly payment by Prestwood, in addition to charges for
each copy made. The copy machine was delivered to Prestwood
by Modular on February 6, 2009. An employee of GreatAmerica
called Prestwood on February 9 to inquire whether the copy
machine was installed and working. Prestwood informed
GreatAmerica that the copy machine was present but not yet
working and that Modular would be out again the next day to
fix it. The same GreatAmerica employee called Prestwood the
next day, February 10, and testified Roy Prestwood informed
her the equipment was working, but Prestwood wanted credit
for the number of copies the service technician made in
fixing the machine. A notation of the credit was made on the
account. Prestwood continued making payments on the lease
agreement but also continued to complain about problems with
the functioning of the machine. After making fifteen monthly
payments, Prestwood stopped paying on the lease; GreatAmerica
repossessed the copy machine and filed suit.
case proceeded to a one-day bench trial in February 2016. The
court ruled in GreatAmerica's favor, awarding $12, 766.28
in damages. In response to posttrial motions, the court also
awarded GreatAmerica $25, 000 in attorney fees and expenses,
and ordered interest to accrue at the contract rate of
Scope and Standard of Review.
review for the correction of errors at law the district
court's judgment following a bench trial. Chrysler
Fin. Co. v. Bergstrom, 703 N.W.2d 415, 418 (Iowa 2005).
The district court's findings of fact have the force of a
special verdict and are binding on us if supported by
substantial evidence. Evidence is substantial if a reasonable
person would accept it as adequate to reach a conclusion.
"Evidence is not insubstantial merely because we may
draw different conclusions from it; the ultimate question is
whether it supports the finding actually made, not whether
the evidence would support a different finding." In
determining whether ...