Bettini v. Gye 1876

A singer was engaged by a producer for the better part of the year 'to undertake the part of first tenor in the theatres, halls an drawing rooms of the United Kingdom'.
He failed through illness to meet the exact requirement of the contract in that he missed all the rehearsals prior to the first night of the whole engagement, which was a theatre performance.

This was a minor lapse and thus only a breach of a warranty.

The term broken was only part of a considerably larger agreement.

Chapleton v. Barry UDC 1940

A man hired a defective deck chair which collapsed and injured him.

The hirers could not rely upon a notice on a ticket which he had been given which purported to exempt them from liability.

You are entitled to look upon a ticket as a receipt, rather than as a contractual term, and to put it in your pocket unread.
If an exemption clause is to be upheld, the common law insists that everything reasonable has been done by the proponent to bring the existence of the clause to the attention of the other party.

Curtis v. Chemical Cleaning and Dyeing Co. Ltd. 1951

Cleaners, by written notice, purported to exempt themselves from liability for damage to materials cleaned.
An assistant assured a customer that the notice covered only damage to 'beads and sequins' on a dress.

The plaintiff customer was entitled to recover.

Where the person seeking to rely upon an exemption clause makes some verbal variation, the clause will be treated as void.

Eccles v. Bryant 1948 Court of Appeal

If the completion of a contract is made 'subject to exchange of documents' either party may withdraw until the exchange has actually been effected.

The validity of a contract can be made subject to conditions (which are not 'conditions' as major terms of a contract).
'condition precedent' - suspensive condition; as opposed to 'condition subsequent' - resolutive condition

Esso Petroleum Co. Ltd. v. Mardon 1976

The representative of an oil company about to lease a filling station to a tenant makes an estimate of the throughput of petrol to be expected of the relevant side.

There was an action on that promise as though it were a term.

In circumstances like these where one party gives an opinion upon a matter which is basic to the contract, and which is peculiarly within his own knowledge, it is something which the other may expect to rely upon when the contract is executed: and this may thus be treated as importing a promise (term).
Collateral Warranty (Contract) Case
See also:

George Mitchell (Chesterhall) Ltd. v. Finney Lock Seed Ltd. 1983 House of Lords

The defendants, seed merchants, sold to the plaintiff farmers 30lbs of "Dutch winter cabbage seed" at the cost of L201.
The seed was not, however, what was ordered, and the crop was a total failure, causing a loss of L61,513.
It was a term of the contract that the defendants' liability should be restricted to replacing defective seed or returning the purchase price.

The HL upheld this, though what the layman might conceive to be justice was in fact achieved by resort to certain statutory provisions which rendered the defendants fully liable.

Where the exemption clause is clear and unambiguous, the defendant may escape his obligations.
And this the more easily where he seeks only to limit his liability rather than to exclude it altogether.
But the exemption clause may, nevertheless, be allowed to prevail.
But note that an exemption clause will not excuse a defendant if his performance steps wholly out of the four corners of the contract (if he fails to perform the contract at all).

Olley v. Marlborough Court Ltd. 1949

Against a guest, the hotel could not rely upon a notice purporting to exempt it from liability for the safety of his property.
Instead of displaying it at the time of registration at the office, it displayed it in the bedroom and, since the contract had already been made at the reception desk, the notice could not be treated as a term.
At common law the court would, and still does, insist that the proponent establish that the exempting clause he relies on is in fact a term of the contract.

Photo Production Ltd. v. Securicor Transport Ltd. 1980 House of Lords

The doctrine of 'fundamental breach' came to an end.

Poussard v. Spiers and Pond 1876

A singer contracted with an opera company to perform in a new opera. Though no period of time was stipulated, it was thought that the engagement wouldn't last very long.
The singer fell ill and couldn't perform for a week.

The singer broke a condition.

The unwelcome lapse was fundamental due to the short period of time agreed.
BETTINI v. GUY (1876)

Shanklin Pier Ltd. v. Detel Products Ltd. 1951

The plaintiffs (under a contractual obligation with a third person to paint their pier) were entitled to designate the paint they would use for the job.
They selected the defendants' paint in reliance upon a false statement by the latter's agent that it was suitable for such an undertaking.

The defendants were held liable.

A collateral warranty may take two forms:
- either the contract contemplated may be one between the warrantor himself and the other party
- or it may be between the other party and some third person
See also:

The Moorcock's Case 1889

The plaintiff's ship was berthed under contract at the defendant's wharf.
At low tide she settled on some rock which lay under the river bed and she was damaged.
There was nothing in the contract about the safety of the berth .

The safety issue was treated as an implied term.

It must be assumed as a business proposition that the parties had contracted upon the basis that it was sound.
Everybody would have assumed to be basic to the agreement what has been omitted from the express terms.
The parties would clearly have agreed to if they had thought about it.
No such term will be implied if it contradicts the express terms of the contract.