DePrince v. Starboard Cruise Services, Inc.

No. 3D16-1149, 2018 WL 3636849 (Fla. 3d DCA Aug. 1, 2018). The Firm represented a company that operates jewelry boutiques on cruise ships. While on a cruise, the plaintiff entered the boutique and requested a price quote to purchase a 20-carat loose diamond. The store clerk mistakenly quoted the total price as $235,000.00. That, however, was the per-carat price; the actual total price of the diamond was nearly $5,000,000.00. The plaintiff, who was accompanied by a certified gemologist, purchased the diamond for the misquoted price, and the boutique canceled the sale a few days later upon realizing the mistake. The plaintiff brought a breach-of-contract claim against the boutique, seeking to enforce the sale. The Firm asserted the affirmative defense of unilateral mistake. Following a weeklong trial in April 2016, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the Firm’s client based on its defense of unilateral mistake. Final judgment was entered in favor of the Firm’s client, and the plaintiff appealed. After protracted appellate proceedings, the Third District Court of Appeal affirmed the judgment and, in accordance with the Firm’s arguments, clarified Florida law in a unanimous en banc opinion.