Breach of Oral Contract Florida
The Florida Supreme Court has decided that Florida contracts may be in writing or orally created, if not both. As such, the Supreme Court and the District Courts of Appeal have put forth rulings that solidify foundational principles for Florida contract enforcement when there has been a breach of oral contract Florida. In this vein, Florida contracts may be a mixture of oral and written depending on the facts and circumstances of each unique case.
Breach of Oral Contract Florida: Offer, Acceptance, Consideration
If oral contracts are proven based on offer, acceptance and performance, they may be determined to be valid under Florida law, and thus enforceable by the courts. The aforementioned mixed contract (portions of which are oral and sections of which are in writing) is still bound by the same requirements of contract formation as a contract which is entirely written: “acceptance, consideration, and sufficient specification of essential terms.” St. Joe Corp. v. McIver, 875 So.2d 375, 381 (Fla. 2004). Once a plaintiff has proven a breach of oral contract Florida, the litigant must then also prove they have suffered damages as a consequence of the breach.
Breach of Oral Contract Florida: Is It Enforceable or Missing Something?
Foundationally, in Gulf Solar, Inc. v. Westfall, the Second District Court of Appeal determined that “As long as an essential ingredient is not missing from an agreement, courts have been reluctant to hold contracts unenforceable on grounds of uncertainty, especially where one party has benefited from the other’s reliance.” Gulf Solar, Inc. v. Westfall, 447 So.2d 363 (Fla. 2d DCA 1984); Community Design Corp. v. Antonell, 459 So.2d 343 (Fla. 3d DCA 1984). This is important because oral contracts must be proven, and in many ways, they are difficult to verify. Testimony from the affected/aggrieved party(ies) and evidence of performance are generally required in order to prove the existence of oral contracts. It is up to a jury to decide what the specific parameters of an oral contract were/are, and to decide the remedy accordingly. Perry v. Cosgrove, 464 So.2d 664, 667 (Fla. 2d DCA 1985).
One such case where a breach of oral contract Florida occurred, and the plaintiff’s proved they had been damaged occurred in Carole Korn Interiors, Inc. v. Goudie. In this case, a company had provided interior design/decorating based on an oral contract for which they went uncompensated and were therefore damaged. It is worth noting that any litigant must prove the amount and extent of labor, materials, and services they provided in reliance on the existence of an oral contract and its validity and enforceability in order to be compensated by the jury.
Jonathan Jacobs is a contract attorney Orlando and a contract attorney Lake County FL. Call today for a consultation.