Florida Court issues first decision from a Common Law jurisdiction applying Art. 28 CISG

Styles v. Movie Star Muscle Cars, Inc. et al., decided by the Circuit Court of the 17th Judicial Circuit (Broward County) in Florida in 2017, is one of the (very) few known CISG cases in which the buyer brought a claim for specific performance in a Court located in a Common Law jurisdiction, thereby triggering the rarely litigated Art. 28 CISG:

Art. 28 CISG

If, in accordance with the provisions of this Convention, one party is entitled to require performance of any obligation by the other party, a court is not bound to enter a judgement for specific performance unless the court would do so under its own law in respect of similar contracts of sale not governed by this Convention.

The dispute arose from the Canadian-U.S. purchase of an antique car: The U.S. buyer Brian Styles, a (seemingly professional) car collector, had bought an antique "1969 1/2 A12 Superbee" from the Canadian seller Movie Star Muscle Cars, Inc. Despite the buyer having paid the full price, the seller refused to deliver the car.

When the buyer sued for specific performance (Art. 46(1) CISG) in a Florida State Court, the Court applied Art. 28 CISG, but eventually granted specific performance because under the circumstances of the case (in particular the unique nature of the car), specific performance would also be granted under Florida State law. In doing so, the Court in Styles v. Movie Star Muscle Cars became the first court to actually apply Art. 28 CISG, whereas previous Courts had occasionally cited the provision or described its content, but had never applied it to the facts of a CISG case.

Czech Republic
Styles v. Movie Star Muscle Cars, Inc. et al.
Circuit Court of the 17th Judicial Circuit (Broward County) of the State of Florida
USA, 18 January 2017 – 09-043833 CACE (07), CISG-online 4684