Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Wille v. Southwestern Bell Telephone Co. case brief

Wille v. Southwestern Bell Telephone Co. case brief summary
549 P.2d 903 (1976)

Appellant sought review of a decision by Division No. 2 of the Sedgwick District Court, Kansas, which granted summary judgment in favor of appellee in a breach of contract claim by appellant. Appellant alleged that appellee negligently omitted appellant's business phone number from appellee's phone book.

Appellant sought to recover damages from appellee after appellee failed to print appellant's phone number in its published phone book as agreed. Appellant asserted that the contract between the parties was unconscionable because of the parties' unequal bargaining position and the form of the contract, and because of the circumstances of its execution. Under the contract, appellee's liability for errors was limited to the cost of the advertisement.


  • The court held that even if the bargaining power was unequal, appellee did not use any deceptive practice to induce appellant to sign the contract. 
  • The court also noted that appellee was not a part of the telephone company by which public services were rendered, which would hinder its ability to limit liability by contract. 
  • Furthermore, the clause limiting liability was clear. 
  • Accordingly, the court held that the clause was not unconscionable and affirmed the grant of summary judgment in favor of appellee.

The court affirmed the grant of summary judgment in favor of appellee, finding that the contract clause limiting its liability for errors was not unconscionable.

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