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Contracts Case Summaries Notes

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Framework Developed

Stands for:

-2 factors that must be met to determine if mental distress is foreseeable:

Early case- no awarding of DMs for mental suffering. Ct neglected reasonable foreseeability and viewed emotional DMs as a strictly punitive matter. Novel case not yet fully adopted. Restitutionary DMs can be awarded w/o financial loss if P had legitimate interest in prevent D's profit making activity and if breach is serious. Wasted expenditure lost prior to K can be recovered if reasonably foreseeable but cannot be recovered in conjunction w/ loss of profits (either reliance or expectation- reliance if expectation is too speculative). Restitution is an appropriate remedy for good faith policies but it can only pay for losses incurred after K was breached. Presents alternative approach to battle of the forms in which all docs are examined to determine where there is agreement. Has not been adopted- offer and acceptance analysis prevails (last K = terms which are binding). Revocation is not binding until it is received bc party making offer has ability to control risk. Difficulty in ascertaining DMs does not mean DMs are not awarded. Contrast to Tannenbaum - SP refused due to amount of enforcement required and potential unjust enrichment. Ct will not force D to continue uneconomic business. Affirms Thompson- to show that a P has lost a sale, supply of the good must be greater demand. Broad def of acceptance but was later ltd in subsequent cases to point at which purchase is made. A promise (offer) is not binding. Unusual case in terms of def w/drawal- normally w/drawl must be clearly communicated. Party making offer controls mode of acceptance (must be reasonable). If there is no acceptance =
no K. No new terms can be added after K is accepted. Cts can imply terms into K to support business ease (policy). Unusual to imply good faith, although they did here. Application of postbox rule applies to new technology- rule does not apply bc of instantaneous nature of technology- acceptance is constituted when it is received; K is made where it is received. Typical of how cts interpret instantaneous communication. P can claim for mental distress is foreseeable and object of K is to secure psych benefit and suffering from breach warrants compensation.


AG v. Blake

Anglia TV

Bollenback Butler

Byrne v. Leon Van Tienhoven Carson v. Willits Co-operative Insurance

Charter v. Sullivan Denton Dickinson Eliason

Empress Towers


CASE SUMMARIES 1) object of K was to secure psych benefit 2) degree of suffering is sufficient to warrant compensation Finelli


Gilbert Steel

Groves Hadley

1. P can recover for consequences if they are reasonable foreseeable.

2. P can only recover for "special circumstances" arising from breach where those special circumstances were communicated to D.

Hamer v. Sidway Hawkins Harris v. Watson

Henthorn v. Fraser


Howell Securities v. Hughes

-Postbox rule- if post is reasonable means of communicating acceptance, then acceptance is complete as soon its posted (not when it is received).
-Exceptions: when another mode of acceptance is specified or when post is not reasonable means of communicating K (other party needs to know K is formed thru post).

Expanding DMs for mental distress into field of expectation DMs in insurance K. No "indep actionable wrong" is necessary for DMs to be awarded for mental distress if it flowed from breach itself. Affirms duty to mitigate- where a party repudiates or rescinds before K work has begun, P not entitled to recover cost of performing. Ct does not want to be involved in enforcing SP. Affirmation of looking to parties past conduct in determining certainty if K existed. Ct will consider intention of parties to read in terms into K in attempt to fill ambiguity in a K (here read in reasonable price). Unless a K'al variation is supported by consideration, it is not enforceable. Application of precedent- consideration must be something of substance given and performance of original K is not adequate. Highlights ability of courts to award DMs for things of non-monetary value. Affirms "reasonable foreseeability" test in awarding DMs. Special circumstances resulting from breach must be communicated to D.

Consideration can be a detriment to promisee (neg covenant). Unusual case that shows analysis of expectation DMs. Cts look at context of K and policy reasons to determine if there is consideration. Consideration is not enforceable if it is made under duress or will have negative policy implications. Classic application of postbox rule.

Unusual case- narrow definition remotenesscommunication of special circumstances insufficient unless there is express acceptance of allocation of risk, Postbox rule does not apply to option Kacceptance occurs at reception. Option K are

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