Citation. 22 Ill.550 So. 2d 1135 (Fla. 3d DCA 1989)
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Brief Fact Summary.
Plaintiff Izadi attempted to purchase a vehicle from Defendant Machado Ford, but ultimately did not when he was unable to take advantage of Defendant’s advertised trade-in allowance. The advertisement contained small print indicating it was only good towards two vehicle models and that the trade-in must be worth at least $3,000 to apply to other models.
Synopsis of Rule of Law.
A misleading advertisement may operate as an offer based on the misunderstood meaning even if the party creating the advertisement does not subjectively intend for it to be an offer.
Plaintiff attempted to purchase a vehicle from Defendant for $3,595 and a trade in. Based on Defendant’s advertisement, Plaintiff believed that any trade-in, regardless of value, would be offered a $3,000 allowance. Plaintiff mistakenly thought the allowance applied to the purchase of any new vehicle. In fine print the ad indicated that the allowance applied to only two vehicle models, nether of which Plaintiff was attempting to purchase. In addition, the individual vehicle portions of the ad indicated the offer only applied to trade-ins worth at least $3,000 when purchasing the other models.
Can Plaintiff bring a breach of contract claim against Defendant?
Yes. Plaintiff may go forward with his breach of contract claim. Based on the allegations in Plaintiff’s complaint, the Court finds it possible that the offer, when objectively considered, was in fact what Plaintiff thought it to be. In considering the terms of the offer, the Court looks at the offer as a whole and may disregard superfine print. The Court will also consider whether there are conflicting or inconsistent provisions. In addition, the Court notes that Defendant may have in fact wanted the public to interpret the advertisement as Plaintiff did.
In the present case, Plaintiff misunderstood Defendant’s offer. However, Plaintiff is able to proceed with the breach of contract claim because the offer may have been what he thought it to be when objectively considered and Defendant may have made the advertisement intentionally misleading.