Ever-Tite Roofing Corp. v. Green – Case Brief
Ever-Tite Roofing Corp. v. Green, 83 So.2d 449 (La.App. 2 Cir. 1955).
Facts: Green (D) contracted with EverTite Roofing Corp. (P) for the re-roofing of their home. The contract set out in detail the work to be done and the total amount to be paid in monthly installments. The agreement became binding only upon acceptance in writing by an agent of P or upon commencement of the work. Green understood that Ever-Tite needed time to check Green’s credit. Green’s credit was approved eight days later and P dispatched a crew to perform the work. When they arrived they found another contractor performing the work. P sued and the trial court entered judgment in favor of D on the grounds that the offer had never been accepted and therefore no contract existed. P appealed.
Issue: When does an offer terminate if no time is specified?
Holding and Rule: If no time is specified for termination of an offer the offer expires at the end of a reasonable time.
The court held that in this case the record disclosed no unreasonable delay by P in receiving, processing or accepting the contract or in commencing the work. The parties understood that there would be a delay before the acceptance of the contract and the commencement of the work because P needed to comply with requirements related to financing the job through a lending agency. The evidence shows that P proceeded with due diligence.
The power to create a contract by acceptance of an offer terminates at the time specified in the offer, or after a reasonable time if no time is specified. A reasonable time is a question of fact based on the nature of the contract proposed, the usages of business, and other circumstances surrounding the offer. The delays sustained under these facts were not unusual. D breached the contract by having others perform the work.
Disposition: Reversed, P awarded $85.37 for loading the trucks and $226 in lost profits.
Note: The court awarded expectancy damages.