Citation. 22 Ill.83 So. 2d 449 (La. Ct. App. 1955)
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Brief Fact Summary.
The Plaintiff-Appellant, Ever-Tite Roofing Corp. (Plaintiff), contracted with Defendant-Appellee, Green (Defendant), to renovate his home. When Plaintiff arrived at the job there was another company doing the work.
Synopsis of Rule of Law.
An offer proposed may be withdrawn before its acceptance and no obligation is incurred thereby. The power to accept is limited by the terms of the contract or at the end of a reasonable time.
The Defendant signed a document for the purpose of re-roofing their residence. The document included the work to be done and the price to be paid in monthly installments. The document was also signed by Plaintiff’s sales agent who was unauthorized to accept the contract on behalf of the Plaintiff. The document contained a provision that read “this agreement shall become binding only upon written acceptance hereof, by the principal or authorized officer of the Contractor or upon commencing performance of the work. This contract is not subject to cancellation.” Plaintiff performed a timely credit report and immediately following approval, the Plaintiff engaged workmen and loaded trucks and materials and proceeded to Defendant’s house to do the work. When Plaintiff arrived he found another company in the performance of the work Plaintiff had already contracted to do. Defendant told Plaintiff the other company signed a contract to do the work two days before. Defendant forbade the
Plaintiff from doing the work. Defendant made no attempt to contact Plaintiff before this date. Defendant knew it would take several days because of the necessity to acquire financing. The Plaintiff proceeded with due diligence to this end.
Was letting the contractor know when he showed up to do the job adequate notice of withdrawal?
Had the offer expired?
No. Because no time was specified within which the offer had to be accepted, then reasonable time must be allowed.
No. Because the offer was accepted when Plaintiff began loading of the trucks and transporting men and materials to the Defendant’s residence.
An offer proposed may be withdrawn before its acceptance and no obligation is incurred thereby.
The power to create a contact by acceptance of an offer terminates at the time specified in the offer, or, if not time is specified, at the end of reasonable time.
What constitutes a reasonable time is a question of fact. It depends on the nature of the contract proposed, the usages of business and other circumstances of the case which the offeree at the time of his acceptance either knows or has reason to know.
Here, the court is being generous in allowing the work to commence upon the loading of the truck. The court is not clear about what type of work will be deemed acceptance and in what situations.