Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Implied contract vs. express contract
Whether an implied contract exists is determined from the parties' actions and conduct. See Haws & Garrett Gen. Contractors, Inc. v. Gorbett Bros. Welding Co., 480 S.W.2d 607, 609 (Tex. 1972); Harrison v. Williams Dental Group, P.C., 140 S.W.3d 912, 916 (Tex. App.-Dallas 2004, no pet.); Ervin v. Mann Frankfort Stein & Lipp CPAs, L.L.P., 234 S.W.3d 172, 182 (Tex. App.-San Antonio 2007, no pet.).
An implied contract exists when the facts and circumstances show a mutual intention to contract. See Haws & Garrett Gen. Contractors, 480 S.W.2d at 609; Harrison, 140 S.W.3d at 916; Lection v. Dyll, 65 S.W.3d 696, 704 (Tex. App.-Dallas 2001, pet. denied); Weynand v. Weynand, 990 S.W.2d 843, 846 (Tex. App.-Dallas 1999, pet. denied); see also Ervin, 234 S.W.3d at 183.
Where the existence of the agreement is disputed, whether the parties reached an agreement is a question of fact. See Preston Farm & Ranch Supply, Inc. v. Bio-Zyme Enters., 625 S.W.2d 295, 298 (Tex. 1981); Haws & Garrett Gen. Contractors, 480 S.W.2d at 609; Live Oak Ins. Agency v. Shoemake, 115 S.W.3d 215, 218 (Tex. App.-Corpus Christi 2003, no pet.).
However, as a general rule, the existence of an express contract covering the same subject matter precludes finding the existence of an implied contract, whether in fact or in law. See Vortt Exploration Co. v. Chevron U.S.A., Inc., 787 S.W.2d 942, 944 (Tex. 1990); Woodard v. Sw. States, Inc., 384 S.W.2d 674, 675 (Tex. 1964); Threadgill v. Farmers Ins. Exch., 912 S.W.2d 264, 268 (Tex. App.-Dallas 1995, no writ). “Where the parties expressly state the terms of an agreement, they create an express contract and are bound by it to the exclusion of conflicting implied terms.” Smith v. State, 96 S.W.3d 377, 384 (Tex. App.-Amarillo 2002, pet. ref'd) (citing Haws & Garrett Gen. Contractors, 480 S.W.2d at 609; Woodard, 384 S.W.2d at 675).
SOURCE: Notley v. Sterling Bank, No. 05-07-00891-CV, 2008 WL 4952835(Tex.App.-Dallas Nov. 21, 2008, no pet.).