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CLAIM FOR £IOOO.

W --~- | THE REGENT STREET CASE.! JUDGMENT FOR PLAINTIFF- j i IliC IN--;,''ii' Street case, in \\ ii i<"l' 'j con tractor lor Die completion '' , l j buildings claimed a total of £IOOO front i two of the directors of Regent .Street,: Ltd.. was decided hv lib. Honour .Mr j .lustice Ostler on .Saturday in fa vo - :r i of the plaintiff. Kadi of the two dc- j fondants w? ordered to |>." v ,0 I the plaintiff' on debentures' to thai value, being handed to I hem. or in ( 'e inult the plaintiff may enter .judgment | against each defend an; for £-"00 dam : ages. ! The plaintiff was I'. Graham ami S"ii. ■ Ltd., building and engineering contractors and the defondunU were ' 1 j Manson, of Christchureh. com].any director, and .Alexander Hamilton Forbes, j of Ohristchureh, company director. The j con tractor sought to recover from the I defendants £SOO each, which he said I they had agreed to pay for debentures ! when he undertook tho contract. 1 Onus Discharged. lii his .judgment his Honour '-aid; "On the facts, I may say at once that, with a foil appreciation of the weight of the burden which lies on plaintiff company to ost.ibiiMi that, by mistako common to bo'<h parties, there has been an error in the <>xprcs?ion of Iho contract. 1 hold that plaint id' com pan.v has discharged th.it onus. '"I am satisfied beyond doubt, that no one thought of a joint purchase by the three directors, and that the agreement was that each director upon the completion of tho bni I.!i should purchase from the debentures wliicli were to be held by plaintiff compnn\ i: ">OO worth of debentures at their lace \alue. Vim' point as to a .joint, purchase, il. feel sure, one which we, owe to legal in gemiity, and it was never thought of by the parties who negotiated the agreement. There is «.-> reason why anyone -would have stipulated for -L or asked for its insertion. It was »f n.> advantage to plaint ift' . .■nipmiy and of distinct, disadvantage to each of the three directors, inasmuch as ii rendered each liable for the purchase of £150" worth, instead of l'"> 00 worth of debent tires. Question of Price. '•Similarly I am satisfied that Mie agreement was that each director should purchase his .iijflO worth of debentures at their face, value. The alternative is that no price was agreed on at all. Mr Graham w:i< considering one matter only at the interview*, i.e.. how he was to be paid for bis work. He would not, take the debentures without more, and was offered this bait by which he could get a further M loth) in cash for his ■work. ''Ft is ridiculous to suggest that a hard-headed Scotsman would have agreed that Ihe directors should buy £l."i00 worth of debentures without any agreement as to the price. "When Mr .Forbes says that, no ois cussion about the value of the debentures took place 1 feci sure his memory is playing him false; and when lie says lie thought at, the time that lie was making a joint. contract, again his memory is playing him false. ''Ft. is clear from the evidence t hat there was consideration moving from plaintiff company in respect, of the promise by the three directors to purchase the" debentures. The recital is not in .accordance with the fact?, and if necessary the ogreemenl can be rectified by striking it out. A Complete Agreement. "I shall assume that Ihe agreement as drawn docs not contain a .sutlicient memorandum to satisfy the Statute ol Frauds. Nevertheless as it has been proved that, a complete oral agreement was made between tho parties, and that it was the intention that that agreement should be reduce.l to writing, but that owing to a common mistake the written agreement, did not fully express the terms of the oral agreement, and consequently docs not, contain a sufficient memorandum to satisfy the requirements of the Statute, rectification will bo granted to euro this defect,. "It is further contended that, plaintiff company has not proved that, ii was ready and willing to perform its part of the contract. It certainly did_ not tender the debentures to the defendants, but'tlie correspondence, which was admitted by consent of defendants, shows that both defendants were called on to carry out their contract, and both made it plain that they had no inten ti.on of carrying out the contract which plaintiff company insisted, and which tho Court has held, was actually made. "(Jnder these circumstances it would have been a useless farce to tender the debentures, and I hold that plaintiff company has proved that it has all along been ready and willing to perform its part of the contract. Order for Bectiflcation. "There will be an order rectifying tho contract so as to make it plain that the agreement was by each of the Hireo directors to purchase from plaintiff company £SOO worth of debentures at their face value. There will, be a decree against each of the two defendants ordering them specifically to perforin tho contract by each" paying to plaintiff company 500 upon debentures for that face value being handed to them. Ft the contract is not specifically performed within one week plaintiff company may enter judgment against each of the defendants for <£soft dam age 3 for breach of contract. With regard to costs there will be an order that the defendants do each pay one half of the plaintiff companv's costs on the highest scale as on a claim for £IOOO. with witnesses' expenses and disbursements. ' Mr M. J. Gresson, with liim Mr 11. Edgar, appeared tor the plaintiff, Mr L. W. Gee for Manson, and Mr W. .1. Stacev for Forbes.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/CHP19321128.2.22

Bibliographic details

CLAIM FOR £1000., Press, Volume LXVIII, Issue 20715, 28 November 1932

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961

CLAIM FOR £1000. Press, Volume LXVIII, Issue 20715, 28 November 1932

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