law-ambiguous contract | ambiguity in contractual terms | contract construction | interpretation of a contract |

CONTRACT AMBIGUITY

A contract is ambiguous if its meaning is uncertain or it is reasonably susceptible to more than one
meaning. Coker v. Coker, 650 S.W.2d 391, 393 (Tex. 1983); In re Marriage of Iberti, 64 Cal. Rptr. 2d
766, 769 (Cal. Ct. App. 1997) ("A term of the agreement is ambiguous if it is susceptible of more than
one reasonable interpretation."). An unambiguous contract will be enforced as written according to the
plain meaning of the words used and "regardless of whether one or more of the parties contracted
wisely or foolishly, or created a hardship for himself." Wooten Props., Inc. v. Smith, 368 S.W.2d 707,
708-09 (Tex. Civ. App.-El Paso 1963, writ ref'd); see Iberti, 64 Cal. Rptr. 2d at 769 (court will enforce
the express language of clear and unambiguous marriage settlement agreement).

CONTRACT AMBIGUITY CASE LAW

Whether a contract is ambiguous is a question of law for the court.  Heritage Res., Inc. v. NationsBank, 939
S.W.2d 118, 121 (Tex. 1996).  A contract is ambiguous when its meaning is uncertain and doubtful or is
reasonably susceptible to more than one interpretation.  Id.  However, when a written contract is worded so that
it can be given a certain or definite legal meaning or interpretation, it is unambiguous, and the court construes it
as a matter of law.  See Am. Mfrs. Mut. Ins. Co. v. Schaefer, 124 S.W.3d 154, 157 (Tex. 2003).

Walston v. Anglo-Dutch Petroleum Int., Inc. (Tex.App.- Houston [14th Dist.] Jul. 23, 2009)
(breach of contract claim, counterclaims for
breach of fiduciary duty, conversion, estoppel, unjust enrichment,
breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing,
fraud, negligent misrepresentation, constructive fraud, money
had and received, assumpsit, quantum meruit, and constructive trust.
AFFIRMED: Opinion by
Justice Brock Yates   
Before Justices Brock Yates, Guzman and Sullivan  
14-07-00959-CV  Gerald M. Walston, Ben C. Morris and William L. Childress v. Anglo-Dutch Petroleum (Tenge)
L.L.C., Anglo-Dutch Petroleum International, Inc. and Scott V. Van Dyke   
Appeal from 157th District Court of Harris County
Trial Court
Judge: Randy Wilson


Southern Chemical Corp. v. Celanese, Ltd. (Tex.App.- Houston [14th Dist] Sep. 10, 2009)(Sullivan)
(
contract interpretation, contract ambiguous, ambiguity creates fact issue which is not proper for resolution by
summary judgment; summary judgment reversed and case remanded for further proceedings)
REVERSED AND REMANDED: Opinion by
Justice Sullivan   
Before Justices Seymore, Brown and Sullivan  
14-08-00348-CV  Southern Chemical Corporation v. Celanese, LTD   
Appeal from 190th District Court of Harris County
Trial Court Judge:
Patricia J Kerrigan


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