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Atlas Express v Kafco [1989]

Facts

  • The claimants had a contract with the defendants to deliver baskets to Woolworth’s which the defendants manufactured
  • The claimants underestimated the size of the baskets and subsequently ordered the defendants to pay more
  • The defendants would have gone bankrupt if they had not delivered to Woolworth’s, therefore agreed the higher price

Issue

  • Could Atlas Express enforce the agreement to pay a higher price

Decision

  • No, claim failed

Reasoning

  • Atlas had provided no consideration for Kafco’s promise to pay extra
  • Kafco had agreed under the presence of duress; they had no time to find another supplier so had no alternative options and had protested by refusing to pay
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