Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeal recently addressed the issue of retroactive application of a construction subcontract on the basis of a merger clause in Don Facciobene, Inc. v. Hough Roofing, Inc.
In the case, in late 2010, Don Facciobene, Inc. (“DFI”), a licensed general contractor, contracted with Digiacinto Holdings, LLC, an owner of a home built in 1905 in Melbourne, Florida, known as the Nannie Lee House or the Strawberry Mansion, to perform various renovations in preparation for a restaurant to be opened on the premises. One of the renovations included a new roof. DFI subcontracted the roofing work to Hough Roofing, Inc. (“HRI”), a licensed roofing subcontractor. In mid-March 2011, HRI submitted an estimate and proposed statement of work to DFI. DFI’s project manager signed HRI’s proposal on April 5, 2011, as well as an additional expanded proposal six days later. According to the proposals, payment was due on completion. HRI began work on the roof on April 15, 2011, without a signed subcontract. However, DFI and HRI ultimately executed a subcontract on June 8, 2011, even though HRI had mostly finished its work by the end of May.