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Ever-Tite Roofing Corp v Green (Louisiana, 1955)


Facts: The Defendants signed and executed an agreement for the Plaintiffs to reroof their home. The contract provided that it would become binding upon the Plaintiff’s written acceptance or commencement of the work. The contract was not signed by the Plaintiff (Plaintiff’s sales rep did not have authority to sign). Almost a week passed while the Plaintiff checked the Defendant’s credit report (which the Defendant knew would occur). When the Plaintiff appeared to start work on the Defendant’s roof, they found another team already at work. Issue: Did the Plaintiff’s intent to become performance constitute acceptance? Did the Plaintiff accept within a reasonable amount of time? Yes, yes. Reasoning: Plaintiffs’ acceptance began with the loading of trucks and necessary materials, and acceptance occurred before the Defendants notified the Plaintiff of any dissent from the contract. When the contract does not specify a time for acceptance, a reasonable time is allowed, and there were not unusual delays in processing the Defendant’s credit application. · The Court says Ever-Tite was reasonable in the amount of time it took to commence performance · This was a bilateral offer (here you either promise to do the work or start to do the work) · The court ultimately says that work commences from the moment you begin packing the truck, et cetera. Professor Brooks felt the court was being generous—though fair—in their determination of when the work did begin. · According to the mailbox rule, acceptances count when they are sent. Everything else (offers, revocations) all count when they are received. There is an exception, however—an acceptance of a counteroffer (as opposed to the acceptance of an offer) is valid when it is received. · For remedies, the court awards both expected profits and reliance costs to put Ever-Tite back in the position it should have been in had the breach not occurred Emmanuel · Lapse of time: The offeror, as "master of his offer," can set a time limit for acceptance. At the end of this time limit, the offeree's power of acceptance automatically terminates. · End of reasonable time: If the offeror does not set a time limit for acceptance, the power of acceptance terminates at the end of a reasonable time period. RULE: A reasonable time standard is used when the contract does not specify the amount of time for acceptance