AQA A2 Law - Unit 4 (Contract Law) Cases - Offer and Acceptance (Part 3)

Just a few important cases from the offer and acceptance section of this unit.

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  • Created on: 26-04-09 17:43

Errington v Errington (1952)

A father bought a house on mortgage and promised that if his son and daughter-in-law paid all the mortgage installments, the house would be theirs. The couple paid all te installments but when the father died his widow tried to claim the house.

HELD: The court held that once the couple had completed paying the installments, the house was theirs and in this case acceptance was an ongoing act.

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Financings Ltd v Stimson (1962)

Between the defendant's offer to buy a car and the plaintiff's acceptance, the car was stolen and badly damaged. The plaintiff's did not know and signed an agreement.

HELD: It was held that this was not a valid acceptance since the pre-condition that the car was in a certain state had failed. Therefore, there was no valid contract.

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Bradbury v Morgan (1862)

A said he would guarantee certain debts of B. A died and later the creditors required the guarantee to be honoured as B had failed to pay the debts.

HELD: A's estate was liable as the offer to honour the debts had not been withdrawn and was independent of A.

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Nicolene v Simmonds (1953)

The plaintiff ordered some iron bars at a definite price from the defendant. He wrote, 'I assume we are in agreement and the usual conditions of acceptance apply'. A dispute arose over the quality of the iron and the defendant argued there was no enforceable contract because the words 'usual conditions of acceptance' were too vague.

HELD: It was held that the words were too vague and meaningless but as they involved a subsidiary matter and all main points were agreed, they could be ignored.

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Guthy v Lynn (1831)

A horse was purchased and a promise was made to pay £5 more if the horse was lucky.

HELD: This promise could not be an offer as it was too vague.

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Clarke v Dunraven (1897)

A yacht race was held where competitors entered by a letter to the club secretary. In these letters each competitor agreed to abide by the club rules which included an obligation to pay all damages caused by fouling. Another yacht owner sank Clarke's yacht in a manoeuvre. Clarke sued this other owner for damages but this owner claimed he was not in any contract with Clarke.

HELD: It was held that all parties were bound under the same agreement with the club regarding each competition. Each had accepted rules on entry and could be deemed to have made them with each other. Clarke won his case.

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Thornton v Shoe Lane Parking Ltd (1971)

The plaintiff had parked his car at a car park which had an automatic barrier. He paid, took his ticket and parked his car. When he returned there was an accident in which he was injured and his car was damaged. He sued the car park owners and they tried to rely on an exemtion clause within the car park. It therefore became important to know the exact time at which the contract to use the car park took place.

HELD: It was held that the car park owners were making an offer by having the car park ready and holding the machine in readiness for use. The customer accepted by taking a ticket and paying.

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Esso v Commissioners of Custom and Excise (1976)

Following the win by England in the 1966 World Cup, Esso used the anticipation of the 1970 World Tournament to advantage by giving away almost worthless coins as collector items. Advertisements read: 'Going free at your Esso station now - World Cup coins'. Motorists were thus encourages to buy petrol from Esso petrol stations on the understanding that they would receive one 'free' coin for every four gallons of petrol bought. The question was were they part of the contract for sale. If so, they would be liable for tax.

HELD: It was held that Esso were not liable.

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