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Contracts Case Brief # 3

Title and Citation: Ray v. William G. Eurice & Bros., Inc., 201 Md. 115
(1952)
Identities of Parties: Mr. and Mrs. Ray (P) sued the (D) Eurice
Corporation for breach of contract.
Procedure History: The Circuit Court for Baltimore (sitting without a
jury) found in favor of the (D). (P) appealed to Maryland Court of
Appeals.
Facts: (P) decided to build a house, and started negotiations with
number builders, including the (D). After the (D) provided an estimate,
the (P) had plans for the house created an architect so he could receive
the final bid by the (D). (P) and (D) discussed each item on the
specifications page (7 pages in total) by the architect. During the talks
between the (P) and (D), things were vetoed and changed, these
changes were noted in green ink and a copy of the specifications were
given to the (D) to make a formal written bid. (D) drew up a three page
unsigned proposed contract that was different/contradicted many of
the specifications in the 7 page that the parties previously talked
about. (P) created a five page Memorandum Specifications (5 pages)
and the parties reviewed each item of the contract before signing it,
the contract said the price for the house was $16,300. The parties later
signed the reverse side of the control, the Memorandum specifications
and the plans. Before construction on the house was to start, (D)
indicated that the house could not be built based on the Memorandum
Specifications for $16,300. The parties attempted, on several
occasions, to work our their differences, however they couldnt, since
the (D) refused to perform under the contract. (D) states that the
contract drawn up by the (P) was suppose to be based on the three
page proposed contract, and that when he signed the contract the
Memorandum Specifications (5 pages) was not attached. (P) says that
the 5 page specifications was present and talked about at the signing
of the contract, even though it may not have been physically attached.
Seeking the difference between the increase of cost because
contract was breached
Issue: (A) Whether a breach of contract occur if one party did not
intent to agree to the contract yet signed the contract and had
sufficient opportunity/ability to understand the contract? (B) Is the
contract enforceable?
Holding and Rule: (A) Yes, the Court says that the law is clear when
there isnt fraud, duress or mutual mistake, that when a person has the

capacity to understand the written document who reads/signs it or


without reading it or having it read to him, signs it, it is bound by the
law. (B) Yes, if a mistake occurred it was a unilateral one, which states
even if a mistake was made by the person and signed the contract he
still is bound in both the law and in equity.
Courts Reasoning: Court believed that (D) had the capacity to
understand the contract since his experience in building homes. (P)
made extreme attention to detail to background as an aeronautical
engineer, therefore there was no fraud, duress or unfair bargaining
power. There was no mutual mistake (cannot be proved) even though
(D) may have no intended to agree to the specifications, the fact that
he signed the contract (and multiple copies) shows that he had
sufficient opportunities to read and understand what he was agreeing
to. A unilateral mistake does not prevent the formation of an
enforceable contract
Judgment and Order: Court ruled in favor of the (P) awarding him
the cost in excess of the contract price that would take him to have the
home built in the amount of $ 5,993.40

Reasonably clear of a example of endorsement of contract


classic view: objective view (pg.39)
Restatements 2 Section 21 (rules of contract law pg. 140)
objective doctrine