Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Reformation of a contract.

Practice point:  A party seeking reformation by reason of mistake must establish, with clear and convincing evidence, that the contract was executed under mutual mistake or a unilateral mistake induced by the other party's fraudulent misrepresentation. In a case of mutual mistake, the parties have reached an oral agreement and, unknown to either, the signed writing does not express that agreement.

Student note:  Reformation is not granted for the purpose of alleviating a hard or oppressive bargain, but to restate the intended terms of an agreement when the writing that memorializes that agreement is at odds with the parties' intent.

Case:  Gunther v. Vilceus, NY Slip Op 05847 (2d Dep't August 24, 2016)

Here is the decision.

Tomorrow's issue:  A defendant-movant's burden in a negligence action.