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Great Peace Shipping v Tsavliris Salvage [2002]

Facts

  • The defendant required assistance at his ship, so arranged it with the claimant
  • The claimant told the defendant that he was 30 miles away, which was a mistake, he was actually over 400 miles away
  • The defendant ‘cancelled the contract’ and contracted with another party for assistance
  • The claimant sued for the contract fee

Issue

  • Could the assistance contract be voided?

Decision

  • No

Reasoning

  • Simply a matter of quality of performance, not void for common mistake
  • Common mistake requires a common assumption made with no warranty or fault which makes performance of the contract impossible and is fundamental to the contract
  • Solle v Butcher [1950] doubted, Bell v Lever Bros [1932] applied.
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