Marton Remodeling (Plaintiff) entered into a “time and materials” contract to remodel Jensen’s (Defendant) house. When Plaintiff finished and presented the final bill for $6,538.12, Defendant contended the number of hours claimed was excessive, and offered to pay $5,000 instead.
The Uniform Commercial Code does not alter the common law rules of accord and satisfaction.
Although the Plaintiff refused the offer to pay $5,000, the Defendant sent him a check for that amount with the following condition: “Endorsement hereof constitutes full and final satisfaction of any and all claims of the payee.”
The Plaintiff filed a mechanic’s lien for the unpaid amount and cashed the check, writing: “Not full payment” below the condition.
The Defendant contended that the cashing of the check constituted an accord and satisfaction that could not be altered by the words added to the condition.
Did Plaintiff’s cashing of the check constitute an accord and satisfaction?
· It was of no legal consequence that Plaintiff told Defendant upon receipt of the check that he did not regard it as payment in full.
· Plaintiff could not disregard with immunity the condition placed upon the check by Defendant by writing “not full payment” under the condition.
The law favors compromise in order to limit litigation; and accord and satisfaction serves that goal.