Iowa Supreme Court building.

Iowa Supreme Court building.

The Iowa Supreme Court has ruled is a case involving a Harlan company that cooks bacon and a utility consultant.

Utility Consultants International contacted Shelby County Cookers in July of 2011 offering to review the company’s utility bills for any errors or overpayments. SCC agreed to a free review of three months of bills and the consultant later called back to say they had found significant savings.

UCI then offered a contract that would split the savings 50-50 between the two. SCC signed the contract and the consultant then requested three years worth of utility bills for review while telling SCC they had found overpayment of sales taxes. The law limits requests for refunds of the overpayment of sales taxes to three years.

SCC then terminated the contract, saying it only covered the three months of utility bills already reviewed. The consultant sued, but the district court and Iowa Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the bacon company.

The Iowa Supreme Court overturned those rulings, saying the goal of both sides was to maximize the savings. The Supreme Court says UCI provided valuable information that SCC did not know before signing the contract and the consultant should be compensated for the information. The Supreme Court also sent the case back to the district court to rule on UCI’s counter claim that SCC breached its contract.

See the full ruling here: Shelby County Cookers PDF