Cron v. Zimmer
Date Filed: 02-06-2013
Nakamoto, J. for the Court; Schuman, P.J.; and Wollheim, J.
Contract Law: An agreement is not fully integrated, and the parol evidence rule does not bar evidence of prior oral agreements, if the prior oral agreement is consistent with the subsequent writing and the prior oral agreement is the kind of agreement that would naturally be made separately from the writing.
Cron and siblings appealed a general judgment dismissing their interference with economic relations, conversion, and unjust enrichment claims. Cron and Zimmer are also siblings. Zimmer was appointed the personal representative of their mother’s estate, which their mother’s husband inherited. In an affidavit, husband conveyed mineral rights in the estate to Zimmer, so she could set up a trust to benefit of all of the siblings. However, Zimmer did not set up the trust or distribute any money derived from the property. The trial court granted Zimmer’s motion for summary judgment and this appeal followed. Zimmer contended that because the deed was an integrated agreement, the parol evidence rule prohibited Cron from introducing evidence of the husband’s intent upon conveying the mineral rights to Zimmer. The Court of Appeals concluded that the deed was not fully integrated because the purported trust agreement was consistent with the terms of the deed, and was the type of arrangement that would naturally be omitted and separate from the deed. Therefore, parol evidence did not prohibit evidence of the arrangement the husband had made with the siblings. Thus, the trial court erred in granting summary judgment and Cron demonstrated sufficient evidence to support each of the three claims of relief. Reversed and remanded.