Florida Museum Served with Contract Lawsuit

Business people in Miami and the surrounding area strive to establish contracts only with people and companies they know they can depend on, but sometimes a company doesn’t live up to its reputation and problems arise with a contract. Such was the case (allegedly) for Volusia County-based marketing company Markalyst LLC, when they entered into an agreement with a Florida museum…

Things just got surreal for the museum that houses the artwork of Salvador Dalí, “the father of surrealism.” The Dalí Museum is being sued by consulting company Markalyst for breaching their contract agreement and abandoning an unpaid balance of more than $230,000.

Markalyst filed a suit against the museum in late 2013, claiming breach of contract and unjust enrichment, and is seeking a jury trial. The reason for their lawsuit is pretty clear- Markalyst didn’t receive the money owed to them for services rendered. Under Florida law (and other states), a plaintiff has to allege that a contract actually existed in the first place in order to file a breach. They must argue that:

  • a valid contract existed
  • there was a material breach of the contract. Meaning the plaintiff did not receive the “substantial benefit” of the deal- in this case it was money
  • damages resulted from the breach, and
  • there are no valid defenses for the breach

Are oral contracts considered valid? Yes, but a plaintiff must allege offer, acceptance and consideration.

According to the lawsuit, the museum hired the consulting company to develop recommendations for new marketing objectives, strategies and processes, for which the museum originally planned to pay $300,000 over an extended period of time. Payments were to be made in installments due to the museum’s “cash position” – a point which was not elaborated in the suit. Though Markalyst completed the work in July 2013, the museum told the company they would not be making any further payments on the project, despite the remaining balance of $233,200. The museum only paid a fraction, just $66,800, of the project’s total cost, between January and August of that year.

If you are concerned you might be the victim of a contract breach, call the offices of Manos, Alwine, PL in Miami, Florida at 305-341-3100.