4 T.R. 762, 100 Eng. Rep. 1288
In Goodisson v. Nunn (1792), a British court heard a case where an estate owner (the plaintiff) accused a potential buyer (the defendant) of breaking a contract related to selling an estate. The plaintiff said he agreed to sell his estate for £210, and the defendant would pay £21 if the sale fell through. But the defendant argued he didn't owe anything since the plaintiff didn't transfer the estate as required to complete the contract. The trial court sided with the defendant, and the plaintiff appealed.
The court agreed with the defendant, stating the contract wasn't valid since an essential condition wasn't met. The contract clearly said the plaintiff had to transfer the estate before getting paid the full £210. This agreement was considered an offer from the plaintiff, which the defendant would accept only after receiving the estate. Since the transfer never happened, the offer wasn't officially accepted. The judge upheld the decision in favor of the defendant.
This case is significant because it demonstrates how courts employ common law and contract principles to interpret agreements based on expressed and implied terms and external circumstances. It emphasizes the balance between justice and fairness, party autonomy and discretion, and the importance of good faith and fair dealing in business transactions.
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