Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Beachcomber Coins, Inc. v. Ron Boskett case brief

Beachcomber Coins, Inc. v. Ron Boskett case brief summary
400 A.2d 78 (Super. Ct. App. Div. 1979)

Appellant buyer sought to overturn the decision of the Atlantic County District Court (New Jersey), which held that appellant could not rescind a contract for the sale of a coin that was entered into with appellee seller.

-Appellant buyer and appellee seller were dealers of coins.
-Both the appellant and appellee thought that the coin being sold to appellant by appellee was a rare coin, when in fact it was a counterfeit coin.
-The lower court held that appellant was not entitled to rescission and the court reversed.

The court held that because both parties believed the coin was valuable that there was a mutual mistake of a material fact and that appellant was entitled to rescind the agreement.

The court ruled that even if appellant had been negligent, the negligence would not change the rule to be applied. Additionally, the court held that because appellee was not able to show that there was a usage of trade so prevalent that it warranted the conclusion that the parties contracted with reference to, and intended that their agreement to be governed by it.

-In dealing with mutual mistake cases, sometimes the parties can actually agree as to the thing and still both be mistaken.
-In this particular case, both parties had agreed as to the coin and its value, yet both parties were mistaken.

OUTCOME: The court reversed the decision of the lower court which had held that appellee seller did not have to rescind the contract. The court held that appellant buyer was entitled to rescind the contract because there was a mutual mistake of a material fact in that both parties had assumed that the coin being sold was valuable when, in fact, it was counterfeit.

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