Cmty. Design Corp. v. Antonell

459 So. 2d 343 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1984)

 

RULE:

Courts are reluctant to hold contracts unenforceable on grounds of uncertainty, especially where, one party has received the benefit of the other's performance. When the existence of a contract is clear, the jury may properly determine the exact terms of an oral contract, which often depend on the credibility of the witnesses.

FACTS:

Appellee filed an action for breach of an employment contract. Appellant employer challenged the trial court's award of judgment with attorney's fees and costs to appellee on the grounds that the contract was too indefinite and uncertain to be valid and there was no agreement on the amount of the bonus, degree of completion, or division among employees. It appears that the employer promised a bonus and a one-week paid vacation if the employees complete drawings on time.

ISSUE:

Are the promises of the employer too vague to be enforced?

ANSWER:

No.

CONCLUSION:

The court affirmed the decision in all respects, and held that the evidence was reasonably susceptible to a finding that the employee was due a bonus. A jury could have found that the completion requirement was met, and once completed, the appellant had a good faith duty to recommend a bonus for those who qualified. The subsequent failure was a breach. Otherwise appellant would have been allowed to receive the benefit of appellee's performance and then hide behind a cloak of vagueness. Attorney's fees were appropriately awarded under Fla. Stat. ch. 448.08 (1981) to avoid inequity to appellee in an action for unpaid wages, which included bonuses.

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