GARY L. KEY v. O.C. RENNER JR. ET AL. - Articles

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Posted by: Landry Butler on Nov 30, 2017

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Mark A. Cowan, Morristown, Tennessee, for the appellants, O.C. Renner Jr., and the Omer C. Renner Jr. M.D. Living Trust.

Attorneys 2:

William S. Nunnally, Greeneville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Gary L Key.

Judge(s): MCBRAYER

Neighboring property owners disagree over the terms of an oral agreement for construction of a private road across their properties. After the road was completed, one property owner failed to pay his part of the construction costs or grant a permanent easement permitting use of the road. The other property owner filed a complaint for specific performance or, in the alternative, damages for breach of contract. The defendant admitted the parties had an agreement but disputed the terms and raised the defense of the statute of frauds. After a trial, the court ruled that the defendant was equitably estopped from asserting the statute of frauds and awarded specific performance. On appeal, the defendant argues that the plaintiff is not entitled to enforce the agreement because either the statute of frauds bars enforcement of the agreement or the plaintiff was the first party to breach. After a thorough review of the record, we affirm the judgment as modified.