Jack has to come to me with a business dilemma. Recently he purchased pieces of antique china for $150.00 from an older adult widow who was selling (to downsize for assisted living).
Coincidentally, the adult daughter of the widow happened to visit his shop during one of his sales and saw the china, marked up with high prices. She advised Jack that the china shouldn’t have been sold to him, especially at a low price, and that her mother was going to assisted living because she was experiencing the early symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Even though the daughter offered Jack double what he paid for the china, he turned down the offer. Within a week, he was served with legal process seeking return of the china, or alternatively, its value, which was estimated to be $25,000.00.
Contract In Place
I advised Jack that a valid contract was in fact in place when he purchased the china for $150.00. Jack has a receipt that acknowledges the proof of purchase, and the receipt is evidence in a court of law. The contract formation contained the necessary elements for the agreement. The contract between Jack and the widow involved an offer and an acceptance. Moreover, there was consideration, capacity, and legality. Consideration took place because both he and the seller received something of value (University of Phoenix, 2011).
Both parties at the time of sale had the legal capacity to enter into the contract. The contract had legality, because both the subject matter and performance of the contract are legal.
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However, in my legal opinion I do believe the age and medical condition of the widow prevented her from making the transaction in a reasonable manner. Even though Jack was unaware of her medical condition and had no reason to know of her early symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease the contract can be voided because the widow meets the unable to understand criteria. Therefore the widow, in actuality lacked capacity to enter the agreement and only had limited powers to contract. I think the daughter’s suit has the likelihood to succeed in litigation. As Jack’s legal counsel I have advised him that a contract rescission is the best remedy in this situation. He will return the china and his money will be refunded of $150.00. This would bring and Jack and the widow back to the original point before the transaction was completed. To the daughters delight, Jack has agreed with this solution to avoid a lengthy and expensive court process.
University of Phoenix. (2011).
Overview and Formation of Contracts. Retrieved from University of Phoenix, ETH/321 – Ethical and Legal Topics in Business website.