Price v. Oklahoma College of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery

733 P.2d 1357 (1986)

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Price v. Oklahoma College of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery

Oklahoma Court of Appeals
733 P.2d 1357 (1986)

Facts

Dr. James Price (plaintiff) was a tenured professor at the Oklahoma College of Osteopathic Medicine (OCOMS) (defendant). Price received a letter of employment each year from OCOMS that laid out the terms of employment and specified his salary. Price made a habit of signing such letters under protest, noting his objections and grievances on the letter. Such protest notes included criticisms of the administrative policies and procedures. In 1984 Price again included a protest note with his signed acceptance, this time expressing his dissatisfaction with the way his salary was calculated. Price received a reply from the president of OCOMS, John Barson, who informed Price that his response was being considered as nonacceptance and a voluntary decision to end his employment. Price wrote back seeking to clarify that he did wish to accept the offer of employment, but ultimately, OCOMS did not offer him employment. Price filed a lawsuit, seeking an order declaring that he had a legally binding contract with OCOMS and had to be reinstated for the upcoming year. A trial court ruled that Price’s note of protest amounted to a qualified acceptance and new offer for employment, which was not accepted by OCOMS. Price appealed, arguing that his note of protest did not qualify his acceptance of the original offer of employment.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Brightmire, J.)

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