Monday, October 22, 2007

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Interesting: Question of the Day

I know, I know... it's been far too long, and soon I'll post an update. For now, here's a really, really, really long "what the hell were they thinking" post :)

Today's question: How does someone sue for breach-of-contract when no contract was signed?

It seems a New York lawyer got married this summer and wasn’t thrilled with the flowers. She had paid for them in advance by cashier’s cheque for somewhat over $27,000. She ordered rust and green hydrangeas for her 22 centrepieces. She got pastel pink and green hydrangeas, which apparently clashed with everything at the reception. She also claims that cheaper orchids were substituted in her bouquet and the equivalent of $5 street-vendor roses were used at a cost of $55 - $65. After the wedding, she requested a refund of $4,000. When she didn’t get it, she decided to sue. For $400,000. Oh yes, she’s also claiming that the flowers were wilted and browning, and that they were put in dusty vases with insufficient water.

The florist claims that they didn’t make this bride sign a contract, because they trusted her, having dealt with her sister’s wedding previously. He claims that the bride was told that they would do their best to match a picture she had presented, but due to the nature of the flowers involved and the lighting in the room, they might look different. He also said his father warned him not to deal with lawyers.

I’ve got a few issues with this:

1/ Who the heck pays for wedding flowers entirely up front by cashier’s cheque??? Anyone with half a brain (and one would assume an associate at a high-priced NY law firm who have represented celebrities and other people with more money than sense falls into the category of having at least HALF a brain) would cover themselves and pay by credit card. That way there’s options for restitution or refund for failure to deliver.

2/ Who the heck spends $27,000 on FLOWERS????????? Obviously a poor little rich girl from the Upper East Side does… I can’t see anyone else paying that much. I paid $400, personally… although admittedly we only used roses, not tempermental out-of-season, notoriously fussy flowers.

3/ Who sues for 100x the amount she’s already pretty much asserted she was entitled to for failure to provide the agreed upon flowers exactly as she imagined?

4/ Who really thinks that a professional who’s been in business for years would use dusty vases at a hoity-toity hall?

5/ Who, having decided they wanted hydrangeas, would fail to educate themselves on the delicate nature of said flowers? Such education would show that they generally bloom (naturally) in late spring or early summer… they don’t take kindly to excessive heat… and they start to wilt/brown almost as soon as they’re cut… regardless of how much water they sit in (and really, the water on cut flowers only needs to be about a half-inch above the cut ends, so unless the stems were really, really short, less than half a vase would be plenty of water… so how much was in the darn things to constitute “insufficient”?)

And, of course, as the opening line said: How can you sue for breach-of-contract when no contract was signed?

Oh, if you want the details, I suggest you Google “bride sues florist”. The NY Times article is a good one to start with.