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Most common mistakes of contract law are shared by both parties during an agreement, however, it should relate to the matter of fact or existing law. For example, in the case of Harvester Agricultural Machinery against Polaris logistics, we need to access the viable claim for compensation of lost goods that harvester has and whether this is enough to litigate against Polaris. If the problem with a contract is a shared misassumption, then it is assumed that the first question is whether the contract explicitly allocates the risk of unanticipated events to one of the parties. If this provision makes the contract, void then how a solution can is found within the contract? However, because there has been a coinciding offer and acceptance, there is at least a shell of a contract left.
Agreement statutes for parties involved
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The objective would be to access the substance of this agreement and find substance from which to base a claim. In the case of goods travelling by sea there is usually an agency involved to be the consignee and act as the third party accruing goods. For example, Polaris was the acting agent for ‘Harvesters’ and, thus, arranged for all machinery such as cranes and trailers. However, under the provisions for the terms, it did state that the goods would be stored below where the goods would be protected. The goods lost on the ship were not forwarded to the ship-owners because they were not privy to the contract, which is a statute of English contractual law concerning third parties in carriage contract.
If A makes a contract with B, then only A, and B may sue on it, notwithstanding that the performance of the contract may entail benefits conferred on C. the other principle relates to the damages suffered during the time of contract will be assessed according to the loss suffered by a party to the contract.
Ethics and good faith
In this case, the loss would need to be assessed concerning the involvement of Polaris and Harvesters. Now the former issued an agreement as per standard contractual terms that it would handle freight accordingly below decks. However, the one time that it does not honor the agreement it gives assurance through a ‘courtesy call’. From this, one can state that Polaris has an ethical obligation to honor dues of compensation towards ‘Harvester’. The terms of the standard trade agreement were quite clear and imply that both parties were obligated to honor their roles.
However, the problem with the contract came from an unexpected turn of events made even more complicated by technology. The problem would have the same context had the courtesy call been just an email. The same problems with jurisdictions face software stocks and shares in matters of transportation. They must be solved, though, regardless of the initial definitions that the jurisdictions choose to operate by. Under, common law there is clauses about the relevance of good faith. In such a situation, the importance of good faith is probably supreme. Polaris did give a courtesy call with the assurance they would honor the responsibility over the goods by stacking them below decks to avoid rusting, and hence depreciation.
Most contracts beneath the statutes of common law impose an obligation of Good faith in the enforcement or performance. In this way, good faith would pertain to honesty in the fact of observance of reasonable standards when it comes to fair dealing. Even when there are supposedly no explicit terms that prohibit the certain conduct under the contract, the court would usually impute the good faith clause obligation on one of the parties. Hence, under the base of good faith ‘Harvesters’ would retain the right to hold ‘Polaris’ directly responsible for the damage to their cargo, and would have the support of enforcement from a court of law.
Contractual terms of agreement provisions
On the other hand, the fairness attributed to a whole contractual terms may not be considered as separate, but must be analyzed in light of the contract, facing the big picture. Some of the terms of the Polaris vs. Harvesters contract may seem quite unfair because it seems that Harvesters has already lost significant cargo, while Polaris is attempting to avert responsibility in the incident. In reality, some of the apparently unfair may be regarded in a better light when seen in the context of other terms meant to counterbalance the information.
To start with, let us reacquaint ourselves with the definition of a contract such as a standard form and a normal one. The standard form is typically prepared by one party and none negotiable as a sort of ‘take it or leave it’ condition. Regular contracts such as the one made by Polaris and Harvesters are made between two or more parties and they are intended to be legally enforceable by all means. It arises when a party makes an offer and the other communicates the intention to accept the terms and agreements of the paper.
Here is where Harvester would have the advantage in a legal battle. According to common contract law, they can be entered into through a variety of ways such as signing a document or agreeing over the phone. In fact, one enters a contract nowadays just by clicking an agree button on a web page or when downloading software. According to the information provided, Polaris did offer their word they were going to keep the containers below deck, in form of the courtesy call. Therefore, when the containers were placed on deck, it directly contravened the terms of the agreed contract, and the materials washing overboard is just a consequence of the violated that would rightly deserve compensation.
Possible hitches in the event of legal proceeding and “Assumpsit”
On the other hand, it is highly unlikely that the telephone call made by Polaris was caught on record, therefore, there is no valid proof there was an assurance given by the company Polaris to Harvesters. In this way, Polaris could easily win the case by a simple dismissal of the charges on failure to submit incriminating evidence against them. A perfect example, involves a case study where a case in submitted to the house of Lords where the claimant provided an international company with labor and glass to build a factory, the alleged agreement was between Saint-Gobain and the claimant to convince International Glass to pay the claimant in full for the labor given.
The House of Lords were not able to recover any evidence to establish there was any estoppels and no evidence that Saint Gobain had represented that either there was a guarantee, or the absence of the contract in writing would not be an issue. In this case, the only representation was the oral agreement which was unenforceable according to section 4. The claimant lost rite to paid labor fees as a result of lack of documentation. This may not be the case with Harvester’s because the standard terms of trade are in paper. The crucial assurance though, is left out of the picture on the crucial voyage. As much as there may be limited evidence because of no phone recording, this may still not be required to pass as contractual obligation. A good question about contractual law, is whether contracts must be written down and the answer is no.
The existence, of an oral contract in this case must be proven before the courts enforce it just like a written one. However, it is quite tricky to enforce an oral contract as one can see in the previous subtopic. Most of the time, it is not on video, but it can be proven by showing that outside situations would lead the ordinary observer or a court of law to believe that a contract did exist in the first place to this effect. For example, the fact that Polaris and Harvesters have been working together for decades, from one exporter is one such example. The most damaging evidence to this effect is the prior agreements to store their freight below decks to avoid incidences of rust or mishandling. How would this incident be any different?
Here, an "assumpsit" would apply, which is a law term that describes an undertaking by one person to perform an act or to pay a sum to another party often without the express agreement of the "promisee" to perform an act in return. This is usually done during contractual agreements that do not involve written agreements. For example, the "assumpsit", in this case would be that Polaris would continue with the assurance it forwarded to Harvesters in the first place when it gave them their word in standard contract terms of storing the machinery below decks. The phone call was a confirmation of the "assumpsit".
In this case there are probably four or five approaches that one may use against Polaris for compensation to Harvesters. These include good faith, contractual provision for phone calls, and the provision of aforementioned behavior during the partnership and the use of "assumpsit" considering the relationship between the two.
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