ANSWERS TO PROBLEMS CHAPTER 11
Anita and Barry were negotiating, and Anita's attorney prepared a long and carefully drawn contract, which was given to
Barry for examination. Five days later and prior to its execution, Barry's eyes became so infected that it was impossible for
him to read. Ten days thereafter and during the continuance of the illness, Anita called upon Barry and urged him to sign
the contract, telling him that time was running out. Barry signed the contract despite the fact he was unable to read it. In a
subsequent action by Anita, Barry claimed that the contract was not binding upon him because it was impossible for him to
read and he did not know what it contained prior to his signing it. Should Barry be held to the contract?
Yes, decision in favor of Anita and against Barry.
Barry's defense that the contract
was not binding upon him because he had not and could not have read it prior to signing it is not
Here, there was no misrepresentation of the contents of the contract Barry was requested to
There is nothing approaching fraud upon the part of Anita.
Upon the facts stated, Barry's
inability to read the contract because of impaired vision does not afford him a defense where his
signature to the contract was voluntary, and was not induced by fraud or misrepresentation.
Moreover, Barry could not prove a defense based upon duress since Anita did not physically
compel nor force Barry by threats to manifest assent to the proposal.
Barry could easily have had
someone read the contract to him, or have it reviewed by his attorney.
(a) Johnson tells Davis that he paid $150,000 for his farm in 2004, and that he believes it is worth twice that at the present
time. Relying upon these statements, Davis buys the farm from Johnson for $225,000. Johnson did pay $150,000 for the
farm in 2004, but its value has increased only slightly, and it is presently not worth $300,000. On discovering this, Davis
offers to reconvey the farm to Johnson and sues for the return of his $225,000. Result?
(b) Modify the facts in (a) by assuming that Johnson had paid $100,000 for the property in 2004. What result?
(a) Decision for Johnson; Davis is not entitled to the return of his $225,000 as long as Johnson actually
believed his farm was worth approximately $300,000. Johnson’s statement with respect to the
value of the farm was merely the expression of an opinion and not the statement of a material fact
upon which Davis had a right to rely.
There is no indication of an appraisal or other expert opinion
upon which Johnson’s opinion is based.
(b) Decision for Davis. Johnson’s statement to Davis that he paid $150,000 for the farm was an untrue
statement of a material fact, upon which Davis had a right to and did rely.