final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
from the Circuit Court for the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit,
Broward County; Carlos A. Rodriguez, Judge; L.T. Case No.
J. Shahady of Shahady & Wurtenberger P.A., Fort
Lauderdale, for appellants.
J. Horbey of Lazer, Aptheker, Rosella & Yedid, P.C., West
Palm Beach, for appellees.
appeal, we must interpret language in a settlement agreement
allowing a party to inspect a vehicle to "make sure the
vehicle is to his satisfaction." The appellant, who had
the right to inspect, argues the provision allowed him to
inspect the vehicle and determine whether he was satisfied
before purchasing the vehicle. The circuit court disagreed.
2014, Christopher Baker, Patricia Baker, and Tricia's
Place LLC bought a 2003 Marathon Prevost, a motorcoach, from
Randy Postma and Cary LLC for $365, 000. The Bakers allege
that when they purchased the motorcoach, Postma stated that
it had never been "wrecked."
the Bakers learned that the motorcoach had been in an
accident and had been issued a salvage title. As a result,
the Bakers filed a lawsuit, alleging that Postma knew of the
accident and misrepresented the motorcoach's condition.
mediation, the parties signed a confidential settlement
agreement. The handwritten agreement stated that Postma would
pay $315, 000 to repurchase the motorcoach. It also included
a provision allowing Postma to inspect the motorcoach:
Prior to purchase, Postma has the right to inspect the
vehicle and make sure the vehicle is to his satisfaction.
Inspection will take place within 30 days.
later, the Bakers moved to enforce the agreement, arguing
that Postma inspected the motorcoach after the mediation and
told them it "was in very good condition." They
also explained that they understood the settlement agreement
to mean that Postma was "to come out and see the
conditions of [the motorcoach] and make sure it wasn't
damaged or wrecked or dented."
explained that he sold the motorcoach to the Bakers in 2014,
when it had 76, 000 miles on it. At mediation, he learned
that the Bakers had driven the motorcoach 40, 000 additional
miles since they bought it from him. So he agreed to purchase
the motorcoach subject to his right to inspect it. At the
inspection, Postma allegedly found many issues and declined
to complete the purchase.
circuit court granted the Bakers' motion to enforce
settlement. The court noted that the parties entered into a
voluntary settlement early in the litigation. The court found
that Postma "ask[ed] the Court to interpret 'to his
satisfaction' as completely discretionary with [Postma].
Such an interpretation," the court found, "would
render the settlement agreement completely illusory."