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Florida Dep't of Envtl. Protection v. ContractPoint Fla. Parks, Ltd. Liab. Co.

ELR Citation: 38 ELR 20173
Nos. No. SC07-1131, (Fla., 07/10/2008)

The Supreme Court of Florida held that the state's environmental agency must pay a judgment entered against it for breaching a contract with a private company. Under the contract, the company agreed to finance, construct, and operate 143 vacation cabins and associated concessions in eight state parks and pay the agency 15% of its gross sales. The company brought a suit against the agency for wrongful termination, and it was ultimately awarded $628,543. The agency refused to pay the judgment, arguing that §11.066, Florida Statutes (2005), prohibits a state agency from paying any judgment unless there is a specific appropriation by the legislature for that judgment. But having reviewed the actual language of the statute, the history of its enactment, and prior case law, the court concluded that §11.066 was never intended to act as a shield to prevent a state agency from paying a lawful judgment arising from the breach of a contract that it was expressly authorized to enter.