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Alex, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 61
Experience:  Experienced attorney representing businesses and governmental agencies. Start-ups and existing Cos.
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When there is a unilateral mistake, in what three types of situations may a cont

Customer Question

When there is a unilateral mistake, in what three types of situations may a contract not be enforced? Explain your answer.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Alex replied 8 years ago.
Hi, another decent question. I will be providing you with my response shortly as I will need some time to respond as well. Thank you. Attorney Alex
Expert:  Alex replied 8 years ago.
Hi again. Back to your insightful question. As you probably know, if one person is mistaken about a term in the contract is a unilateral mistake. Generally a unilateral mistake will not excuse a contract. Courts have been reluctant and are still unlikely to excuse performance unless the mistake is a palpable one or enforcement or performance is seen as oppressive. Also, if the unmistaken party knew or should have known and was hence in the best place to stop it from affecting the deal. This is straight restatement law. However, there can be other scenarios where performance will be excused and thus a contract will not be enforced. For example, if contract avoidance will not cause any undue hardship. Or if enforcement of the contract would be unconscionable, or as already stated above, if the other party caused the mistake or had reason to know of it, or finally, if a basic assumption of the original contract has an adverse effect on the one making the mistake and the party suffering this did not assume the risk, then the contract may be voidable by the suffering party. Also, a mistake will render a contract voidable when it goes to the heart of the contract. For example, a mistake in the subject matter of the contract can render it void. One good example is if the parties contract for an expensive prada bag and they later find out it is a cheap knock off. In that scenario the contract is void due to the mistake in the subject matter.   Impossibility can also apply but in these cases it the law seems to require that it be extremely difficult to perform, not just inconvenient. This is all fairly straightforward Restatement of Contracts law. I hope this helps you out some. If you found my answer somehow helpful kindly hit the accept button below. Thank you in advance and for any bonus too. Wishing you the best of luck in your endeavors too. Regards, XXXXX XXXXX