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DES MOINES, Iowa -- The Iowa Supreme Court recently reversed a lower court's decision in favor of Wells' Dairy Inc., which was sued by Pillsbury Company Inc. after an explosion at a Le Mars manufacturing facility. Pillsbury accused Wells' Dairy of breach of contract and negligence. A district court found in favor of Wells' Dairy.
The court said that Pillsbury wasn't the real party of interest in the case because it had signed its assets over to a partnership with another ice cream maker after the explosion.The district court also found that a clause in the production contract with Pillsbury relieved Wells' Dairy of its requirement to manufacture the ice cream.That was because the explosion was considered an extraordinary event beyond the company's control under that clause.
Pillsbury appealed the district court's ruling. The supreme court agreed that the lower court improperly granted Wells' Dairy's motions to dismiss the case. The high court sent the case back to district court for further proceedings.
Court records show that Pillsbury entered into a contract with Wells' Dairy in January 1999 for the production of Haagen-Dazs ice cream. That March, there was an explosion at the Wells' Dairy manufacturing facility in Le Mars.