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Cover Poole's Casebook on Contract Law

9. Misrepresentation  

Robert Merkin and Séverine Saintier

Poole’s Casebook on Contract Law provides a comprehensive selection of case law that addresses all aspects of the subject encountered on undergraduate courses. A contract may include a statement that is a mere puff, a representation, or a contractual term. In the case of a representation, the maker asserts the truth of certain facts and thus induces the contract. In case of an actionable misrepresentation (an unambiguous false statement of fact which induces the other party to enter into the contract), the contract may be rendered voidable; that is, liable to be set aside or rescinded. In some instances, the injured party may claim for damages designed to restore him to his original position. This chapter examines the identification of actionable misrepresentation, duties of disclosure, types of misrepresentations, rescission as a remedy, damages for misrepresentation, including the damages available in s. 2 of the Misrepresentation Act 1967, and the effect of contributory negligence in any damages award. Finally, the chapter examines exclusion of liability for non-fraudulent misrepresentation and the effect of ‘non-reliance’ clauses in contracts. In the consumer context, it also notes the criminal offences in certain instances of misrepresentation under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPRs) and the extension to include civil remedies for misleading actions.

Chapter

Cover Contract Law

23. Damages  

This chapter examines the entitlement of a claimant to recover damages in respect of a breach of contract committed by the defendant and is organized as follows. Section 23.2 discusses the different measures of damages that can be awarded, while 23.3 analyses the performance interest. Section 23.4 examines the circumstances in which a claimant can seek damages based on his ‘reliance’ losses rather than his performance interest, and 23.5 discusses the circumstances in which damages may be awarded to protect the claimant’s ‘restitution’ interest. Section 23.6 examines the entitlement of a claimant to recover damages in respect of non-pecuniary losses, particularly ‘mental distress’. Section 23.7 considers the general rule that damages are assessed as at the date of breach and the exceptions to that rule, while 23.8 considers the various doctrines which the courts use in order to keep liability within acceptable bounds. These include remoteness, mitigation, and contributory negligence. Section 23.9 examines the circumstances in which a claimant can recover what is known as ‘negotiating damages’ or the defendant can be ordered to account to a claimant for the profits that he has made from his breach of contract. Section 23.10 looks at the possibility that exemplary damages might play a role in breach of contract cases. The chapter concludes, in the final sections, with a discussion of agreed damages clauses (and related clauses) and their legal regulation.

Chapter

Cover Poole's Casebook on Contract Law

9. Misrepresentation  

Robert Merkin KC, Séverine Saintier, and Jill Poole

Poole’s Casebook on Contract Law provides a comprehensive selection of case law that addresses all aspects of the subject encountered on undergraduate courses. A contract may include a statement that is a mere puff, a representation, or a contractual term. In the case of a representation, the maker asserts the truth of certain facts and thus induces the contract. In case of an actionable misrepresentation (an unambiguous false statement of fact which induces the other party to enter into the contract), the contract may be rendered voidable; that is, liable to be set aside or rescinded. In some instances, the injured party may claim for damages designed to restore him to his original position. This chapter examines the identification of actionable misrepresentation, duties of disclosure, types of misrepresentations, rescission as a remedy, damages for misrepresentation, including the damages available in s. 2 of the Misrepresentation Act 1967, and the effect of contributory negligence in any damages award. Finally, the chapter examines exclusion of liability for non-fraudulent misrepresentation and the effect of ‘non-reliance’ clauses in contracts. In the consumer context, it also notes the criminal offences in certain instances of misrepresentation under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPRs) and the extension to include civil remedies for misleading actions.