Peacock Construction Co. v. Modern Air Conditioning, Inc.

353 So.2d 840 (1977)

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Peacock Construction Co. v. Modern Air Conditioning, Inc.

Florida Supreme Court
353 So.2d 840 (1977)

Peacock Construction Co. v. Modern Air Conditioning, Inc.

Facts

Peacock Construction Co. (Peacock) (defendant), as general contractor for a condominium project, entered into subcontracts with Modern Air Conditioning, Inc. (Modern Air) (plaintiff) and Overly Manufacturing (Overly) (plaintiff). Both subcontracts contained an identical clause requiring final payment by Peacock to Modern Air and Overly within 30 days after “completion of the work…written acceptance by the Architect and full payment therefor by the Owner.” Upon completion of their work, Modern Air and Overly requested final payment and Peacock refused. When Modern Air and Overly brought actions for breach of contract, Peacock defended that full payment had not been received from the owner and such payment was a condition precedent to its obligation to pay on the subcontracts. The trial courts ruled in favor of Modern Air and Overly on their motions for summary judgment. On appeal, the Second District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial courts' decisions and held that the contractual provision at issue was not a condition precedent. Instead, the Court of Appeal interpreted the provision as an absolute promise to pay that fixed payment by the owner as a reasonable time when payment should be made to the subcontractors. Certiorari was granted and the cases were consolidated for appeal to the Supreme Court of Florida.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Boyd, C.J.)

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