PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — A Sioux Falls company should have received thousands of dollars more from its successful lawsuit over loss of rent at a building it owned, the South Dakota Supreme Court has decided.
The court publicly released the unanimous opinion on Thursday.
Justice Scott Myren wrote that Peska Properties owned by Eugene Peska was shorted when Circuit Judge Douglas Hoffman used a blended rate to calculate how much Northern Rental Corporation and Steve Willis, Northern’s vice president and treasurer, owed after Northern stopped paying rent after July 2019.
Northern Rental had agreed to a 10-year lease of the space in 2012 for Aaron’s, a rent-to-own furniture, electronics, and appliance store.
In the decision Thursday, the state’s high court directed that Peska Properties receive an additional $72,601.84 for lost rent and be fully compensated for a $25,000 build-out loan that Peska Properties made to a subsequent renter.
Wrote Justice Myren, “A build-out allowance was necessary to attract a replacement tenant. While Willis/Northern and Peska Properties both wanted a new tenant, the only reason a new tenant was necessary was because Willis/Northern wanted out of its lease. Ultimately, Willis/Northern breached its lease. This breach forced Peska Properties to agree to provide Radco with a $25,000 build-out loan to secure Radco as a replacement tenant. If Willis/Northern had fully performed on its lease, Peska Properties would not have incurred this expense.”
The justices also decided that the losing parties should pay attorney fees for Peska Properties.