Court Says That No Contract Was Formed For Fixing Fence.

The defendant installed fencing on the plaintiff's farm in the 1995 and the plaintiff paid cash for the work.  Based on the defendant's recommendation, the plaintiff had the defendant install a certain type of posts.  in the first year after installation, the posts began to rot and the manufacturer of the posts went bankrupt and out of business.  The parties discussed the problem and the plaintiff told the defendant that the defendant needed to replace the rotten posts upon the plaintiff notifying the defendant of posts that had become rotten.  Initially, the defendant replaced the posts on notice, but after 15 years, the defendant stopped replacing the posts.  The plaintiff sued, claiming that the defendant breached an oral contract to replace the rotten posts upon notice.   The trial court granted a directed verdict for the defendant on the basis that there was no evidence of an oral agreement between the parties.  On appeal, the court affirmed.  The court held that no enforceable oral contract was formed between the parties because the terms of any contract were not "sufficiently definite" such that the defendant's duty could be determined and the required conditions of his performance.  The court determined that there was not "meeting of the minds" as to the essential contract terms that the defendant would continue to replace posts at no charge indefinitely.  Lenz v. Heiar Fencing & Supply, Inc., No. 13-2026, 2014 Iowa App. LEXIS 1235 (Iowa Ct. App. Dec. 24, 2014).

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