from the Iowa District Court for Fayette County, John J.
Enterprises, L.L.C. appeals, and Donald Buhr cross-appeals,
from the district court's ruling on a breach-of-contract
M. Marzen of Marzen Law Office, Waverly, for appellant.
S. Updegraff, West Union, for appellee.
Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., Doyle, J., and Vogel, S.J.
VAITHESWARAN, PRESIDING JUDGE.
Enterprises, L.L.C. (Jader) performed construction work for
Donald Buhr but did not receive full payment for its
services. Jader sued Buhr for breach of an oral contract.
Buhr counterclaimed for damages resulting from what he
characterized as shoddy workmanship. The district court found
"it was impossible for either party to fully perform
this project." The court denied the claim and
appeal and cross-appeal, the parties disagree with the
district court's finding that the contract was impossible
to perform. We will affirm the finding only if substantial
evidence supports it. See EnviroGas, LP. v. Cedar
Rapids/Linn Cty. Solid Waste Agency, 641 N.W.2d 776, 781
doctrine of impossibility of performance is recognized in
Iowa as an excuse for nonperformance generally where that
which has been promised becomes objectively impossible to
perform due to no fault of the nonperforming party."
Nora Springs Coop. Co. v. Brandau, 247 N.W.2d 744,
747 (Iowa 1976) (emphasis removed); accord DuTrac Cmty.
Credit Union v. Radiology Grp. Real Estate,
L.C., 891 N.W.2d 210, 217 (Iowa 2017).
"Impossibility of performance refers to extraordinary
circumstances which could not have been anticipated and which
arise without fault on the part of the one seeking to avoid
performance." Associated Grocers of Iowa Coop., Inc.
v. West, 297 N.W.2d 103, 108 (Iowa 1980). The district
court quoted Uniform Jury Instruction 2400.9 on impossibility
of performance, as follows:
Instruction No. 2400.9 defines "impossibility of
performance" as extraordinary circumstances which:
[a] Prevent a person from carrying out the terms of the
[b]Could not reasonably have been anticipated; and
[c]Are not the fault of that party.
The appropriate remedy is usually rescission of the contract
which will return both parties to the position they were in
prior to making the contract, with due ...