244 Mont. 324, *; 797 P.2d 899, **;
1990 Mont. LEXIS 241, ***; 47 Mont. St. Rep. 1464
1 of 1 DOCUMENT
THE BILLINGS CLINIC, a partnership, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. PEAT MAR-
WICK MAIN & CO., a partnership, and Donald A. Blackwell, Defendants and Ap-
Supreme Court of Montana
244 Mont. 324
; 797 P.2d 899; 1990 Mont. LEXIS 241; 47 Mont. St. Rep. 1464
June 6, 1990, Submitted
August 16, 1990, Decided
Released for Publication August 30, 1990.
PRIOR HISTORY: Appeal from the District Court of Yellowstone County.
Thirteenth Judicial District.
Robert Holmstrom, Judge Presiding.
Defendant accounting firm appealed a decision from the District Court of Yellowstone
County (Montana), which found it liable for breach of its professional duty toward plaintiff medical clinic after it had
been hired to provide advice on tax and accounting considerations in connection with clinic's plan to build a larger of-
On appeal, accountant firm argued that it was not engaged to examine clinic's eligibility for tax-exempt
municipal bond financing. The court found sufficient evidence for the jury to determine a contract existed between the
parties, the scope of the contract, and a breach of duty by accounting firm. In the presence of conflicting evidence, the
jury's findings could not be disturbed. Firm also argued that clinic's claim sounded only in tort and the contract did not
cover tortious acts or omissions. The court found that the malpractice claim existed mutually in contract and in tort.
Whether the contract was express or implied, firm owed a duty to exercise due professional care. Because the claim
could sound in both tort and contract, the five-year statute of limitations applied. The trial court properly denied
proffered expert testimony. Although expert was timely identified, accounting firm failed to indicate the subject matter
of expert's testimony. The proffered testimony consisted of new matter and was not limited to rebuttal testimony. In ad-
dressing the damage award, the court held that firm was properly denied any offset because of alleged tax benefits to
The court affirmed the decision which found accounting firm liable for breach of its professional duty
and in awarding damages.
reorganization, accountant, financing, capital expenditures, doctor, mortgage, accounting, tax bene-
fits, partnership, realty, implied contract, statutes of limitation, industrial, rebuttal, partner, law firm, professional duty,
express contract, buy-in, revenue bonds, bond issue, contract claim, prime, bond holders, interest rate, interest expense,
breach of contract, present value, recommendation, calculation