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Contracts Keyed to Summers
Sparks v. Gustafson
Citation:750 P.2d 338
Robert Sparks, Sr. purchased a one-half interest in the Nome Center Building (hereinafter “Nome Center”). Ernie Gustafson (plaintiff), a personal friend and business associate of Sparks, Sr., managed the building without charge until Sparks, Sr. died. Gustafson continued to manage the building without charge after Sparks, Sr.’s death. Robert Sparks, Jr. (defendant), the executor his father’s estate, was unaware that Gustafson was still managing the building. Over time, the Nome Center’s operating account became insufficient to cover the costs of insurance, mortgage payments, utility bills, and repairs. Gustafson often paid these expenses out of his own pocket, in addition to doing maintenance and remodeling work on the building. After Sparks, Sr.’s death, his estate signed a “purchase agreement” that indicated Gustafson had purchased the Nome Center from the estate. No purchase details were ever worked out and the estate instead sold the Nome Center to a third party. Gustafson sued Sparks, Jr., alleging that the estate breached an oral agreement for the sale of the Nome Center and also sought compensation for management services he (Gustafson) rendered to estate property.
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