Nathan's Case Analysis
Nathan's case depicts a breach of contract from the side of the company. Nathan being the victim in the circumstances is entitled to punitive damages. With John being a sales agent of Dubois Ltd, any mistakes undertaken by John become a responsibility of the company Dubois Ltd because an agent acts on behalf of his principal.
Therefore, any contract an agent establishes is viewed to be a principals contract unless the agent is off duty or declared by the principal as not a true representative. However, in this case, John is even under pressure to make all the necessary sales otherwise he will be demoted from his position. It means that the principal was pushing the agent to make sales at the expense of ensuring key details of establishing contracts with the clients like Nathan.
The fact that Nathan is not an Australian based citizen who neither understands English freely nor speak it eloquently does not depict that the company or the agent can take the advantage of the situation. One important underlying factor is that Nathan was not informed all the surrounding details of the contract. John did not take essential time to ensure that the client comprehended all the policies or rules governing the new contract. Falsification of the details of the contract makes it inadmissible and compensation ought to be given to Nathan as remedy for any damages he may have accrued (Richards 2005).
Both parties, Nathan and John, exhibit some level of negligence in their judgments. Nathan does not offer to look for an interpreter who could have eased his work by clarifying the important segment of the contract. In addition to this, Nathan opts to adopt an assumption that the contract can be terminated any time, and he is oblivious of the additional charges to be paid.
On the other hand, John takes advantage of Nathan's situation of not understanding English just to make a sale. The combination of the entire factors make the contract illegal, and it should be disbanded since none of the parties took keen interest to stipulate all the requirements of establishing a contract (O'Sullivan & Jonathan 2005).
Law of Contract Relating to Nathan's Case
A contract is an agreement that is made between two parties and is legally binding or recognized by the law. William Anson postulates that a contract must be legally binding and it must be an agreement made between two parties (McKendrick 20120. According to this definition, Nathan and Dubois Ltd through John have formed a contract that is enforceable by the law.
However, this is not the only factor that stipulates the creation of a contract since there are a number of factors that skew the implementation of a contract. These are termed as essentials or prerequisites of a contract as discussed below in relation to Nathan's case.
Essentials of a Valid Contract in Conjunction with Nathan's Case
Offer and Acceptance
A lawful offer culminates any valid contract. It is through the lawful offer that an agreement stems from (Poole 2012). The offer and the acceptance must always satisfy the requirements that are illustrated in a contract act to be established between the two parties. In Nathan's case, John gives a lawful offer while representing his principal the Dubois Pty Ltd. The mobile offer is essentially an ideal platform since it is what the company deals in.
Thus, if keenly looked at, the establishment of the contract obeys the introduction of the lawful offer. However, it does not satisfy the requirements of the contract act that was intended by Dubois Ltd of attracting customers, hence making it an illegal contract. Generally, the acceptance depicted by Nathan is founded on poor assumptions that were never clarified by John.
Intention to Create Legal Relationship
Since the sale of the mobile phones is a commercial related activity, it creates a legal relationship once the goods have been sold to the buyer (McKendrick & Nili 2005). It automatically becomes a legal contract since both John and Nathan intended to achieve their goals. For instance, Nathan wanted to have a mobile phone to enable his communication endeavours while John wanted to make a sale to avoid being demoted by the employer. It makes the contract between Nathan and Dubois Ltd a legal undertaking and the law can terminate it if any fault is found on it. Thus, in case of any damages inflicted on Nathan is assessed by a court of law and found to be true, he will be compensated by Dubois Ltd.
A lawful consideration depicts that price which is given in exchange for a certain promise between the two parties intending to get into a contract. Nathan gets the mobile phone while John and the parent company Dubois Ltd make a sale or acquire a new customer. There is an exchange of a lawful consideration in the contract that is established between the two parties hence enforceable under the court of law (Richards 2005).
Free Consent and Lawful Object
As much as both parties were willing to form a contract with the exchange of the mobile phone, the free consent attribute never existed between John and Nathan. It is because John falsified the information he gave out in order to lure Nathan to make a contract, which was absolutely wrong. Nathan acted on the precipice of wrong information that he came to realize later that it was an exaggeration. This makes the contract become null and void.
Is the Contract between Nathan and Dubious Ltd Valid or Void?
A valid contract is typically a type of agreement that is enforceable by the law while a void contract is that type of contract, which is not binding in any form and cannot be enforced by the law (Bar & Ulrich 2004). In this case, the contract is rendered void since both parties caused a number of mistakes. For instance, Nathan does not take time to understand the conditions galvanizing the contract before jumping into it. Language barrier may be a defence that can be attributed in the case since Nathan could not understand the English language.
Hence, it was impossible for Nathan to decipher the real meaning of the message as postulated by John. It is after a while that Nathan comes to a realization the purchase or offer he has taken is weighing down on him since he cannot afford to service for the costs. It is an indication that Nathan has never contemplated on the real costs associated with the contract. Instead, either he was rushed with his desire to purchase the mobile phone for communication purposes or John who was under pressure from his employer to make a sale convinced him.
John has also made a mistake in trying to achieve his mission of making a sale before the employer authorized. This meant that Johns judgment on the scenario was obscured by the intention of convincing Nathan to take the deal. It culminates to personal gains instead of customer gains, which are against the policies and regulations that govern sales in the market (Frey & Phyllis 2001).
John was supposed to act in accordance with the laws and procedures of Dubious Ltd of ensuring that the customer was the one to decide on the kind of deal to take. Essentially, the role of John as an agent of Dubious Ltd who are the principal in the case study is to ensure that the consumer segment is well informed of the deal before they take it. John actually did the opposite of this; instead, he opted to give the good section of the offer and forget about the bad section.
Further, any contract that is entered between an alien and non-citizens of the country is not enforceable by the law. It is the same scenario that is exhibited in the case of Nathan vs. Dubious Ltd. Nathan is not an Australian, which makes it hard for the contract to become enforceable by an Australian law court. John takes advantage of the poor language grasp of the plaintiff to make an offer that later turns out to be falsified or exaggerated by its advantages. It is improper to enter into a contract without an interpreter who will relay the important information to the plaintiff because it impairs the decision-making strategies of the non-citizens of the country.
The legal issues that arise in this case are fraud, breach of contract, and negligence. Dubious carries the burden of its agent who hides a lot of information instead of outlining all the details about the contract to the plaintiff (Nathan). The defendant has a role to prove that all the necessary details were given to the plaintiff. This corresponds to negligence from the part of the defendant. Besides, the defendant may be judged on the precept of fraud; fraud manifests itself when Nathan is compelled to pay for the costs that never really existed.
In Robinson Helicopter Company, INC., V. Dana Corporation, 2004, fraud is better compensated by ensuring that the plaintiff is compensated and returned to the initial state they were in before the damages were inflicted (Richards 2005). Breach of contract is the dominant aspect that is pointed out in the contract majorly. Dubious does not take an initiative to uphold the real details that were given to the plaintiff (Nathan). Instead, the company opts to enforce higher costs that Nathan was not told by the agent (John). Hence, it is beyond the jurisprudence of the company to enforce details that were not conveyed. Instead, it should take steps to actualize what was actually framed out.
Analysis Using Law Reports
In Car and Universal Finance Co. V. Caldwell (1965), X made a purchase of a car from the defendant and paid for the car through a Cheque (O'Sullivan, J & Jonathan 2012). Buyer X took the car, however, in the following day, the cheque given by X bounced but X was nowhere to be found. It compelled the defendant to report the case to the police and the concerned Automobile Association in the country, in his endeavour to recover the car from X. On the other hand, X sold the car to Y who knew the defective nature of Xs title to the car. In return, Y resold the same car to another plaintiff who actually bought the car in good faith. It was later affirmed that the defendant was entitled to recover the car from all the plaintiffs.
The court held that the right to avoid a contract is lost if the innocent party discovered the true facts of the contract. It is the same case in Nathan's case upon the discovery of the underlying facts of the contract. Nathan is mandated to be remedied for any damages suffered from the acquisition of a falsified contract. According to the above case, Nathan's contract and Dubious becomes null and void. This means that Nathan is supposed to be compensated or remedied for the damages incurred.
According to Dick Bentley Productions, Ltd. V. Harold Smith Motors Ltd. (1965), the defendant sold a car to the plaintiff and stated that it had done only 20,000 miles since its purchase (McKendrick & Nili 2005). However, the statement turned out to be false since the car turned out to be in unsatisfactory condition. The plaintiff sued the defendant and the court was tasked with the responsibility to decipher if the mileage statement was really a term of contract or a mere statement of representation.
It was held that the statement depicted a term of contract and the plaintiff was entitled to damages and breach of contract. If the above case law is construed to fit Nathan vs. Dubious case, it will imply that Nathan is subject to compensation for the damages accrued since he acted on the details given by John who was an agent of Dubious.
Unilateral mistake is exhibited in the case of Nathan vs. Dubious (2014). To support this case is the case of Smith vs. Hughes. In this case, the defendant agreed to make a supply of oats to the plaintiff according to a given sample that was analysed. The oats to be supplied by the defendant were actually new oats. However, the defendant believed that they were old oats and rejected the shipment since they were relatively cheap than the new oats. Held, the plaintiff must have known of the mistake that was made by the defendant. The contrary was not held void merely from the mistakes of the age of the oats in question (McKendrick 2012).
In such circumstances, if the plaintiff was made aware of the mistakes of the defendant at common law, then the contract could be void. It is the same scenario that manifests itself in the contract of Nathan vs. Dubious. Dubious Ltd is not aware of the assumptions made by Nathan. This enables the plaintiff (Nathan) to end the contract the way he had postulated on the first instance. It depicts that Nathan can sue for any damages that can accrue from the contract from the mistakes of John who was an agent to Dubious Pty Ltd.
In the case of Bell v. Lever Brothers Lt, Lord Atkins illustrates that a contract is enforced if both parties to the contract agree with the essentials of the information of the contract (Poole 2012). It means that both parties have to agree to the terms and on the subject matter of the contract. However, on another instance of Solle v. Butcher he stipulates that a contract is only enforceable if the terms of the contract are in correlations with the same principles upheld by both parties.
If there is any instance of ill-intended motives behind a contract then the contract becomes null and void. All the damages accrued by an innocent party ought to be compensated. If we take the interpretation postulated by Lord Atkins, it will mean that Nathan will be compensated for the damages he accrued in the contract. Generally, there was poor communication strategy in the case of Nathan and John. However, John had different motives that were negative.
If Nathan sues Dubious Pty Ltd, he stands a chance to win for the damages that he incurred in the process of purchasing the mobile phone. Thus, Nathan ought to either sue on the precipice of breach of contract and fraud (Rowan 2012). Nathan will stipulate the real facts given by John and later point out the enforcements that were done by the company. It is these factors that led to the rise in costs of the mobile phone, which was completely opposite of what he had expected. In addition, fraud will crawl in since Nathan is a non-citizen in the country and no contract is bound to exist between him and Dubious Ltd.
Breach of contract is another component that will be of ideal legal jurisdiction in the case of Nathan vs. Dubious (2014). This can be attributed to the fact that John gave different details on the offer intended to push for acceptance from Nathan. In addition, John did not observe all the components that ensured validity of a contract as discussed above. Thus, it makes the contract null and void; hence, need to remedy Nathan for the damages suffered.
A law of contract entails a number of important factors as seen in the above description. There are a number of individuals who are held to be exempted from the enforcement of a contract. These individuals include minors, people on unsound mind, aliens or non-citizens and illiterate personalities unless the information is interpreted for them to make decisions. If a contract is entered into by any of these individuals then the person trying to formulate the contract will be liable for any damages incurred to them.
However, they will not be answerable to any charges unless under special circumstances. Mistakes can make a contract null and void depending on the nature of the mistakes that galvanize the situation. Finally, Nathan should sue the company to get compensation for damages suffered.