For what seemed to be a simple contract dispute, Berry v. Gulf Coast Wings Inc. garnered an unusual amount of attention in both the legal and popular press. Former Hooters waitress Jodee Berry sued her ex-employer for breaching its promise to award a new Toyota to the winner of an April 2001 sales contest. Berry alleged that her manager, Jared Blair, told the waitresses at the Hooters where she worked at the time that whoever sold the most beer at each participating location during April 2001 would be entered in a drawing, the winner of which would receive a new Toyota. As the contest progressed, Blair allegedly told the waitresses that he did not know whether the winner would receive a Toyota car, truck, or van, but that she would have to pay any registration fees on the vehicle. In early May, Blair informed Berry that she had won the contest. He proceeded to blindfold her and lead her to the restaurant's parking lot. Waiting for her there was not a Toyota car, truck, or van, but a doll of the character Yoda from the Star Wars movies - a “toy Yoda.” Blair laughed. Berry did not. Berry sued for breach of contract and fraud. Hooters answered that Blair was only joking. While the case eventually settled favorably for Berry, it raised three interesting questions of contract law that merit further discussion, namely: (1) whether Blair's statement was clearly in jest, such that it could not be accepted by Berry's performance; (2) whether Blair's statement, even if not clearly in jest, constituted an offer to form a contract that could be accepted by Berry's performance; and (3) whether Berry gave sufficient consideration to bind Hooters to the terms of Blair's offer.
3 Nev. L.J. 526 (2003).
Rowley, Keith A., "You Asked for It, You Got It … Toy Yoda: Practical Jokes, Prizes, and Contract Law" (2003). Scholarly Works. 544.
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