TUBBY'S CUSTOMS, INC., a Florida corporation; and LENWARD MARTIN, Appellants,
CHARLES EULER, Appellee.
FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES TO FILE REHEARING MOTION AND, IF
from the Circuit Court for Pinellas County; Jack Day, Judge.
Pearlman of Pearlman & Clark, P.A., St. Petersburg, for
C. Anderson, Jr., of The Law Offices of Donald C. Anderson,
St. Petersburg, for Appellee.
LaROSE, Chief Judge.
Customs, Inc., ("Tubby's") and its owner,
Lenward Martin, appeal a final judgment for breach of
contract entered in favor of Charles Euler. We reverse, in
part, because the awarded damages exceed those requested and
proved at trial. We affirm the final judgment in all other
respects without further discussion.
Euler contracted with Tubby's to restore his 1956 Ford
coupe to "run & drive" condition for $15, 000.
Mr. Euler's friend, Repo Robbie, delivered the car to
Tubby's garage. Mr. Euler subsequently made three
payments of $5000 each to Tubby's. Later, when indisposed
by health issues, Mr. Euler gave Repo Robbie an additional
$3500 to pay Tubby's to finish the work. Unfortunately,
after Mr. Euler paid Tubby's $18, 500 over the course of
more than two years, Tubby's never completed the
restoration. Mr. Euler had his car towed back to his house.
Euler sued Tubby's. He alleged that Tubby's breached
the restoration contract by failing to complete the work in a
reasonable time after Mr. Euler "paid a total of $18,
500 to Tubby's as and for a final price." At trial,
Mr. Euler testified that he budgeted $15, 000 to get the car
running and driving, $3500 for the interior, and $1500 for
tires and wheels. Mr. Euler conceded that he never intended
that Tubby's would do the interior. The
"budget" he testified about was his personal
budget, not part of his contract with Tubby's. Mr. Euler
testified that when Tubby's was unable to get the car
running and driving for $15, 000, he paid Tubby's an
additional $3500 to "get it running."
Euler sought damages for the reasonable cost of completion
($8829.30), a rebate of the difference between the amount
paid and the reasonable value of the repairs ($9250), and a
towing fee ($44). Without objection, Mr. Euler submitted an
estimate from Mahoney Auto Repair into evidence, reflecting
that the car required $8829.30 in additional mechanical
repairs. Mr. Euler's expert testified that Tubby's
had completed only 50% of the work for which Mr. Euler had
trial court entered a final judgment finding that Tubby's
breached the contract. It awarded Mr. Euler $12, 329.30 in
damages, plus costs of $2899.65, for a total of $15, 228.95.
The trial court did not elaborate on its damage calculation.
Seemingly, the award is a combination of $8829.30 for the
reasonable cost of completion and an additional $3500.
argues that the awarded damages exceeded the "cap"
on damages, and erroneously combined inconsistent theories of
recovery. Mr. Euler counters that the trial court properly
awarded damages based on a benefit-of-the-bargain theory. He
argues that the judgment consisted of the $8829.30 required
to complete the mechanical repairs and the $3500 to complete
the car's interior, which he maintains was necessary to
make the car drivable.
review "[a] trial court's determination as to the
method of calculating damages . . . de novo."
HCA Health Servs. of Fla., Inc. v. CyberKnife Ctr. of
Treasure Coast, LLC, 204 So.3d 469, 471 (Fla. 4th DCA
2016) (citing Katz Deli of Aventura, Inc. v. Waterways
Plaza, LLC, 183 So.3d 374, 380 (Fla. 3d DCA 2013)).
"[T]here must be some reasonable basis in the evidence
to support the amount [of damages] awarded. Furthermore, it
is incumbent upon the party seeking damages to present
evidence to justify an award of damages in a definite
amount." Camper Corral, Inc. v. Perantoni, ...