from the Iowa District Court for Wright County, Christopher
C. Foy, Judge.
Egg, L.L.C. challenges the admission of an exhibit
summarizing damages. REVERSED AND REMANDED.
Cady III of Cady & Rosenberg Law Firm, P.L.C., Hampton,
Malloy and Lynn Collins Seaba of Malloy Law Firm, LLP,
Goldfield, for appellee.
Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Vogel and Vaitheswaran, JJ.
decide whether an exhibit summarizing damages was properly
Background Facts and Proceedings
egg producer Quality Egg, L.L.C. sold eggs to Hickman's
Egg Ranch, Inc. Quality Egg sued Hickman's for money
"due and owing" on an open account. Hickman's
counterclaimed for breach of contract based on a recall of
eggs due to salmonella contamination.
trial, Hickman's chief financial officer testified its
damages stemmed from credits they had to give the Safeway
grocery chain. The CFO offered a summary exhibit, Exhibit RR,
and testified, "It's our calculation on what the
damages from Safeway are." Quality Egg objected to
admission of the exhibit on the ground that the underlying
documents on which the summary was based were never received
by counsel, the summary lacked a proper foundation, the
summary constituted hearsay evidence, and the summary
violated the best evidence rule. After confirming counsel
received Exhibit RR in discovery, the district court
overruled the objection and admitted the document.
to Exhibit RR, Hickman's damages on its counterclaim
totaled $31, 322.97. The jury awarded Hickman's $31,
Egg moved for a new trial and for judgment notwithstanding
the verdict. The district court rejected Quality Egg's
renewed challenge to the admission of Exhibit RR, reasoning
that the exhibit "was not offered for the
purpose of proving the damages sustained by customers of
Defendant as a result of the egg recall" but "was
offered to show the amounts that Defendant paid (or credited)
its customers to keep their business after the egg
recall." Alternatively, the court stated, "Even if
the Court erred in admitting Exhibit RR, the other evidence
presented by Defendant was sufficient to withstand
Plaintiff's motion for directed verdict." The court
denied this portion of Quality Egg's
motion. Quality Egg appealed.
Admissibility of Summary Exhibit