(Making an Offer)
Partridge v Crittenden
The defendant advertised birds for sale. He was charged with unlawfully offering birds for sale which contradicts with the Protection of BIrds Act 1954.
The defendant was not guilty as in his advert he didn’t make an offer but an invitation to treat.
Carlill v The Carbolic Smoke Ball company
The defendant was offering a smoke ball which he claimed that it treated many illnesses including the flu. In his advert the defendant claimed that he will offer £100 back to the customer if the smoke ball used appropriately didn’t have any affect. Mrs Carlill used the smoke ball but she saw no improvements. she then claimed the £100 but the defendant refused to pay.
The defendant was guilty as in his advert he was making an unilateral offer.
Pharmaceutical society of Great Britain v Boots Cash Chemists Ltd.
The defendant was charged of selling pharmaceutical products without the supervision on a chemist as the products were placed on the shelf where customers could browse through the shelves and pick the products they want.
However the defendant was not guilty as they were not making an offer but an invitation to treat and when the customers would go to the checkout they would make an offer to to boots and it will be up to the chemist present at the till to either reject or accept the offer.
Fisher v Bell
The defendant displayed a knife in his shop window as in being for sale. The defendant was charged with the criminal offence of offering the knife for sale which contradicts with the Restriction of Offensive Weapons Act 1959.
The defendant was found not guilty as he was making an invitation to treat.
(Accepting the offer)
Felthouse v Bindley
The Defendant thought he has sold the horse to the claimant for 30 guineas (£31.50). The claimant however thought that he had bought the the horse for (£30). As there was no contract because of that mistake the claimant asked in writing to split the difference. The letter stated that if he hears no more from the defendant that he will consider the horse his for £30 15 shillings. The defendant did not reply. after 6 weeks the horse was sold by mistake and the Claimant sued the auctioneer for selling his property.
Because the defendant did not reply to the claimant’s letter the horse was still in defendant’s property as silence can never count to acceptance. The auctioneer was not liable.
Adams v Lindsell
(The postal rule)
The defendant sent a letter to the claimant offering to sell wool. Because the letter was misdirected it arrived 3 days later. The claimant posted his acceptance on the same day but because the letter took longer to get to the defendant, the defendant had already sold the wool to somebody else because they had not received the acceptance in time.
As soon as the acceptance letter was dispatched that was when the contract has been made. The defendant was found guilty of breaching the contract.
(even if the letter of acceptance is lost in the post and never received there is still a contract Household Fire Insurance CO v Grant)
Holwell Securities v Hughes
Dr Hughes granted Holwell Securities an option to purchase his house for £45,000. The option was to be exercisable ‘by notice in writing’ within 6 months. Five days before the expiry, Holwell posted a letter exercising the option. This letter was never received by hughes. Holwell sought to enforce the option relying on the postal rule stating the acceptance took place before the expiry of the option.
Held: By requiring ‘notice in writing’, Dr Hughes had specified that he had to actually received the communication and had therefore excluded the postal rule.
Brinkibon Ltd v Stahag Stahl
Brinkibon, located in London, telexed their acceptance of a contract offer to purchase steel from Stahag Stahl in Vienna. Brinkibon, alleging breach, wanted to serve the respondent with a writ claiming damages for breach of contract…