• Created by: phoebs.b
  • Created on: 26-04-18 11:13

Redgrave v Hurd (1881) - the plaintiff advertised for a partner in his solicitor's practice. The defendant was told that the practice brought in about £300 a year and that the evidence could be seen in certain papers which the plaintiff showed to the defendant. However, the defendant did not examine them. If he had he would have discovered that the income figure was incorrect. The defendant entered into the contract and then discovered the truth. He sought rescission and damages for misrepresentation. The Court of Appeal held that the defendant had relied on the misrepresentation since he did not know of any facts establishing that the statements were not true. If a party fails to take the opportunity to check the accuracy of a representation he may still be induced by it to enter the contract and have remedies for misrepresentation. However, there may now (post-Redgrave) be a reduction in any damages to account for his contributory negligence. This depends on the state of mind of the statement maker and possibly also on the type of damages claim. 

Ecay v Godfrey (1947) - the claimant contracted to purchase a boat for £750 from the defendant, who had more expertise in boats. The defendant asserted that the boat was in reasonable condition, however, he did nonetheless suggest that the claimant may wish to survey the boat for a better overview. The transaction was completed and it subsequently transpired that the boat was heavily flawed. The claimant thus sought to bring an action against the defendant for sale of a flawed vessel. The Court held that the defendant's remarks in regards to the boat's soundness were representations rather than a binding part of the agreement, as the statement had not proved absolute or indicative of intent for it to qualify as a contractual term. This was emphasised by the defendant's advice to the claimant to have the boat surveyed prior to purchase, which would generally indicate to the reasonable objective person that his assessment of the ship's quality was not expert or definite, even where the person making the representation had a comparatively larger knowledge of ships than the other party. 

**** Bentley Productions Ltd v Harold Smith (Motors) Ltd (1965) - the claimant knew the defendant, who was a car trader specialising in the prestige market, for some time. He had asked him to look out for a well-vetted Bentley car. The defendant obtained a Bentley and recommended it to the claimant. He told him that the car had been owned by a German Baron and had been fitted with a replacement engine and gearbox and had only done 20,000 miles since the replacement. The claimant purchased the car but it developed faults. The defendant had done some work under the warranty but then more faults developed. It transpired that the car had done nearer to 100,000 miles since the refit. The question for the court was whether the statement amounted to a term in which case damages would be payable…


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