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Bloom v. Oniayekan

Court of Appeals of Iowa

March 7, 2018

WELDON D. BLOOM and KAREN WICKWIRE, as Co-Trustees of the WELDON D. BLOOM REVOCABLE TRUST, Plaintiffs-Appellees/Cross-Appellants,
v.
MICHAEL ONIAYEKAN and IJEOMA ASOTA, Defendants-Appellants/Cross-Appellees.

         Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Stuart P. Werling, Judge.

         Oniayekan appeals the district court's ruling in favor of Bloom in this breach of contract action. Bloom cross-appeals.

          William R. Stengel of Stengel, Bailey & Robertson, Rock Island, Illinois, for appellants.

          Katherine Varlas Teel of Pepping, Balk & Kincaid, Ltd., Silvis, Illinois, for appellees.

          Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Doyle and Bower, JJ.

          VAITHESWARAN, PRESIDING JUDGE.

         Buyers of a home terminated the real estate purchase contract. The sellers sued and obtained judgment against them. On appeal, the buyers contend a mutual mistake of fact precluded formation of the contract. The sellers cross-appeal for additional damages and attorney fees.

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings

         Plaintiffs Weldon Bloom and Karen Wickwire owned a home in Davenport, Iowa. Defendants Ijeoma Asota and Michael Oniayekan made an offer to purchase the property, which was accepted. A purchase agreement was executed in late August 2014.

         At the same time, Bloom completed a seller's disclosure statement. He left blank the question, "Any easements or encroachments onto or from neighboring properties?" He later amended the disclosure statement to answer "No" to the question.

         In late September 2014, the City Public Works Department's real estate manager sent Bloom a certified letter requesting a meeting to discuss a permanent recreational trail easement and a temporary construction easement. Bloom picked up the letter on October 4, 2014. Shortly thereafter, he forwarded it to the listing agent who, in turn, sent it to the buyers' agent.

         On October 15, 2014, the buyers' agent informed the listing agent that the buyers were terminating the contract. The reason given on the termination document was: "Due to the city of Davenport taking part of the land. The purchasers intended to use the backyard for their small child to play safely." The City never took title to the land and did not record the easements until approximately one year after the buyers terminated the contract.

         The buyers failed to appear on the scheduled closing date in November 2014. Several months later, the sellers sold the property to another purchaser.

         Bloom and Wickwire sued Oniayekan and Asota for breach of contract. Following trial, the district court entered judgment in favor of Bloom and Wickwire. The ...


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