from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Michael D.
company appeals a district court's calculation of damages
resulting from a motor vehicle accident.
Jeffrey M. Lipman of Lipman Law Firm, P.C., West Des Moines,
Michael J. Moreland and Nicholas T. Maxwell of Harrison,
Moreland, Webber, Simplot & Maxwell, P.C., Ottumwa, for
Considered by Potterfield, P.J., Greer, J., and Scott, S.J.
stipulated-liability motor vehicle accident case, the
district court awarded loss-of-use damages to Chadmark, LLC
resulting from damage to one of its trucks. The company
appeals the court's calculation of damages and asserts it
is also entitled to damages for out-of-pocket expenses to
retrieve the replacement truck. We agree with the district
court's calculation of loss-of-use damages but find
additional damages for out-of-pocket expenses are
appropriate. For that reason, we reverse and remand for entry
of a new damage award.
Background Facts and Proceedings.
23, 2015, Kristin Bush failed to yield at a stop sign in Polk
County and her vehicle collided with a Chadmark dump truck.
Bush admitted liability for the accident.
is a dump truck company that hauls dirt, rock, and sand in
central Iowa. On the day of the accident, the damaged
truck-identified as "Truck #10"- was working on
hauling projects as part of a team of four Chadmark trucks.
Because the truck was totaled, Chadmark could not use Truck
#10 after the accident, and it eventually purchased a
replacement truck in Texas.
October 12, Bush's insurer issued a check to Chadmark for
$29, 049.68 to pay for the loss of use of Truck
Chadmark at first rejected the check as "insufficient to
address the actual loss incurred," but it later
deposited the check, noting on the draft: "not accepted
as final settlement."
to Chadmark's records, it operated without Truck #10 from
the July 23 accident until September 24 when it began using
the replacement truck. During this time frame, the other
three trucks in the team continued hauling and generating
revenue and expenses. Chad Larson, as the sole owner of
Chadmark at the time of trial, testified Truck #10 and its
driver would have continued hauling with the other three
trucks had it not been involved in the accident. Larson
offered that he also operates a Chadmark truck, but between
the accident and retrieval of the replacement truck, Truck
#10's regular driver drove Larson's truck and Larson
stopped driving. Larson continued to receive his
officer's salary from Chadmark during this period.
2017, Chadmark filed its petition claiming Bush was negligent
and seeking damages. Chadmark provided its calculations for
gross revenues, fuel costs, gross driver wages, and driver
payroll expenses per day for the three remaining team trucks
from July 23 to September 24. Related to the retrieval of the
replacement truck, Chadmark also claimed it paid total
out-of-pocket expenses of $3533.14-$908.14 for airfare, $225
for lodging, and $2400 for freight-to purchase the
replacement truck in Texas and transport it to Iowa.
August 2018, after a bench trial, the district court entered
its ruling. The court calculated loss-of-use damages by
finding the average gross revenue per truck per day;
subtracting average costs per truck per day for fuel, wages,
and employment taxes; and multiplying by the number of days
Truck #10 was expected to be in use, which generated gross
damages of $29, 139.11. The court denied Chadmark's
request for out-of-pocket expenses. Because Bush already paid