L’Estrange v F Graucob Ltd

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Citation: [1934] 2 KB 394

This information can be found in the Casebook: Paterson, Robertson & Duke, Contract: Cases and Materials (Lawbook Co, 11th ed, 2009), pp. 350-2

Contents

Background facts

  • Plaintiff was buying a cigarette vending machine from Defendant.
  • Signed a form titled 'Sales Agreement', filled in by the Defendant's salesperson. The form contained printed terms of sale.
  • When the machine was delivered it did not work.

Argument

  • There is an implied warranty that the machine was reasonably fit for the purposes which it was required, and this warranty was breached.

Defence

  • A clause in the written document had an entire agreement clause:
    • "The agreement contains all the terms and condition under which I agree to purchase the machine...and any express or implied condition statement, or warranty not stated herein is hereby excluded.

Legal issues

Judgment

Trial Judge:

  • breach of the implied warranty
  • The Plaintiff had no knowledge of the contents of the document it signed, except for the price, instalments and the arrangements for installing the machine.
  • Was not aware of the entire agreement clause which entailed that there is no warranty.
  • The Defendant did not do what was reasonably sufficient to give the plaintiff notice of the conditions.

Divisional Court:

  • Signing the document means a party is legally bound, because it represents the party's examination and agreement to the document.
  • "When a document containing contractual terms is signed, then, in the absence of fraud, or, I will add, misrepresentation, the party signing it is bound, and it is wholly immaterial whether he has read the document or not.[1]"
  • The Plaintiff signed for a contract which did not contain a warranty, and because the entire agreement clause specifies that there are no further terms except for what's written, she doesn't get one.

References

  1. [1934] 2 KB 394, 403
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