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Hart v O’Connor [1985, New Zealand]

Facts

  • Hart wished to purchase a farm, with very favourable terms to himself, from O’Connor, the farm’s trustee
  • O’Connor agreed to the purchase
  • Unknown to both parties, O’Connor was suffering from senile dementia

Issue

  • Could the contract be set aside due to unconscionable conduct or mental incapacity

Decision

  • Yes, for mental incapacity, not unconscionable conduct

Reasoning

  • Unconscionable conduct was not present as Hart did not know of the dementia and the terms were set out by Hart’s solicitor and merely accepted by Hart, then in turn O’Connor
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