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Published byEustace Long
Modified over 5 years ago
Prepared by Douglas Peterson, University of Alberta 11-1 Part 3 – The Law of Contract Chapter 11 Failure to Create an Enforceable Contract
© 2006 McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited 11-2 Overview Mistake Mistake of law Mistake of fact Non est factum Unilateral and mutual mistake Misrepresentation Innocent, fraudulent, negligent Undue Influence Duress
© 2006 McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited 11-3 Introduction Requirements for a valid contract Essential elements such as offer, acceptance, intention, consideration, capacity may all exists but contract may still not be enforceable Situations which may render a contract unenforceable Mistake, misrepresentation, undue influence, duress Also determines who bears the brunt of the losses
© 2006 McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited 11-4 Mistake Mistake A state of affairs in which a party (or both parties) has formed an erroneous opinion as to identity of subject matter, or some other important term Contract does not express their true intentions Types of Mistake Mistake of law Mistake of fact
© 2006 McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited 11-5 Mistake Mistake of Law Presumed to know the law Usually no relief provided Exception: if statute provided for recovery Mistake of Fact Mistake as to the existence of the subject matter of the contract or the identity of a party
© 2006 McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited 11-6 Mistake of Fact Court may provide relief Mistake as to subject matter of contract General rule contract is void Mistake as to identity of the Party Depends if the identity of the person is an essential element of the agreement If essential may not be enforceable If not essential – it will be enforceable
© 2006 McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited 11-7 Mistake of Fact Non Est Factum A defense that may allow illiterate or infirm persons to avoid liability on a written agreement if they can establish that they were not aware of the true nature of the document, and were not careless in execution Narrow form of mistake Applies only to type of agreement being signed not to the terms of the agreement
© 2006 McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited 11-8 Unilateral and Mutual Mistake Unilateral Mistake A mistake by one party to the agreement Mutual Mistake A mistake where both parties have made mistaken assumptions as to the subject matter of the agreement Can be same mistake or different mistakes Courts will not enforce agreements when the other party is aware of the mistake being made
© 2006 McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited 11-9 Mutual Mistake Rules If both parties make the same mistake: as to subject matter then the contract is unenforceable As to identity of the parties –Deal with on a case by case basis Rectification The correction of a mistake in an agreement that would have rendered the agreement impossible to perform
© 2006 McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited 11-10 Misrepresentation Characteristics A statement or conduct Induces the other party to enter into the contract Must be a material matter Must be a statement of fact and not opinion Exception: expert opinion Statement made before contract entered into
© 2006 McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited 11-11 Misrepresentation Result of misrepresentation Voidable at the option of the injured party Must rescind or lose the right if accept benefits under the contract Rescission The revocation of a contract or agreement
© 2006 McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited 11-12 Misrepresentation 3 Types TypeRemedy Innocent rescission only Negligent rescission and damages Fraudulent rescission and damages Remedy depends on type of misrepresentation
© 2006 McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited 11-13 Innocent Misrepresentation A false statement of a material fact made by a party that honestly believed the fact to be true Courts attempt to put the parties back into position they were before the contract was entered into
© 2006 McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited 11-14 Fraudulent Misrepresentation Fraudulent Misrepresentation A false statement of fact made by a person who knows, or should know, that it is false, and made with the intention of deceiving another Deceit A tort that arises when a party suffers damage by acting upon a false representation made by a party with the intention of deceiving the other
© 2006 McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited 11-15 Fraudulent Misrepresentation Contractual vs. Tort remedy Contract: rescission is contractual remedy If courts can restore parties to position they were before entering into the contract Tort: Deceit – allows for damages can award punitive damages Deceit Made knowingly Without belief in its truth Recklessly or carelessly without regard for its truth
© 2006 McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited 11-16 Misrepresentation by Non-Disclosure General rule No obligation to disclose Exception: certain types of relationships or contracts (Contracts of utmost good faith) Partial disclosure of facts has effect of rendering the part disclosed as false
© 2006 McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited 11-17 Misrepresentation by Non-Disclosure Contracts of Utmost Good Faith Insurance Partnership (fiduciary obligation) Contracts with special trust or confidence between the parties
© 2006 McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited 11-18 Negligent Misrepresentation Negligence Newer form of misrepresentation Statements that are sufficiently reckless but not quite fraudulent
© 2006 McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited 11-19 Undue Influence Undue Influence A state of affairs whereby a person is so influenced by another that the person’s judgment is not his or her own Not in a fair bargaining position 2 Scenarios Special Relationship exists Special Relationship does not exist
© 2006 McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited 11-20 Undue Influence Special Relationships Types: lawyer/client; doctor/patient; trustee/beneficiary; parent-child; spiritual advisor/parishioner Does not apply to spousal relationship Undue influence alleged onus shifts to dominant party to prove otherwise
© 2006 McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited 11-21 Undue Influence No undue influence if agreement was fair and reasonable in the circumstances Full disclosure is made prior to the formation of contract Weaker party free to seek independent legal advice Contract is voidable at option of weaker party
© 2006 McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited 11-22 Duress Duress The threat of injuring or imprisonment for the purpose of requiring another to enter into a contract or carry out some act Threat can be to person directly or to person’s family (or a close relative) Contract is voidable at option of person once they come out from under duress Threat to person and not person’s goods
© 2006 McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited 11-23 Summary Mistake Requires meeting of the minds No meeting of the minds if certain mistakes made Misrepresentation Type determines remedy Party is free to get out of the contract since they would not have entered into it but for the misrepresentation Duress and Undue Influence Party can avoid the contract
Copyright © 2004 McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited 1 PART 3 – THE LAW OF CONTRACTS Chapter 10 – Failure to Create an Enforceable Contract Prepared by Douglas.
Chapter 5: Mutual Assent
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