Carter v. Cline

Ernie and Karen Cline sued M. Jay Carter for breach of contract after Carter signed a real estate contract with the intent to purchase residential property from the Clines but was unable to do so because he failed to obtain financing approval. Carter filed a third-party complaint against the real estate agent and company that represented him in the transaction (Jones Defendants). The circuit court consolidated the two lawsuits for trial. The jury returned a verdict (1) against Carter and in favor of the Clines on their breach of contract claim, and (2) against the Jones Defendants and in favor of Carter on Carter's negligence claims. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the circuit court erred by denying Carter's motion for a directed verdict and his subsequent motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict because there was a condition precedent included in the real estate contract that required Carter to obtain financing for the purchase, which he was unable to do, and as a result, there was no contract. Remanded.