Long v Lloyd [1958]

Long v Lloyd [1958] 1 WLR 753 revolved around misrepresentation, specifically addressing the principle that if a party, who has been subject to misrepresentation, affirms the contract, rescission becomes barred.

Mr Lloyd advertised a lorry as being in exceptional condition. Mr Long visited Mr Lloyd's premises to inspect the vehicle, during which Mr Lloyd made statements regarding its speed and fuel efficiency. Mr Lloyd asserted that the lorry could reach a speed of 40 mph and had a fuel consumption rate of 11 miles to the gallon. Relying on these representations, Mr Long purchased the lorry for £750. However, within two days of the purchase, various issues emerged, including a malfunctioning dynamo, a defective oil seal, a cracked wheel, and a fuel efficiency of only five miles to the gallon.

Following the discovery of these defects, Mr Lloyd offered to repair the lorry for half the cost of a reconstructed dynamo, and Mr Long accepted this offer. Subsequently, during another journey, the lorry broke down while being used by Mr Long's brother on a business trip to Middlesbrough. Mr Long then initiated legal action seeking rescission of the contract.

In the judgment delivered by Pearce LJ, it was determined that the contract had been affirmed when Mr Long accepted the lorry back after it had been repaired. The court emphasised that Mr Long had the option to have an expert examine the lorry but chose not to do so. Pearce LJ pointed out that Mr Long had a reasonable opportunity to test the lorry's fuel consumption, and by failing to reject it promptly, he effectively accepted the lorry before attempting to rescind the contract.

In conclusion, the decision of this case illustrates the importance of timely actions and choices made by the party seeking rescission in cases of misrepresentation.
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