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Chandler v Webster

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Citation(s)  [1904] 1 KB 493
Chandler v Webster httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu
Judge(s) sitting  Lord Collins MR, Romer LJ and Mathew LJ
Court  Court of Appeal of England and Wales
Similar  Fibrosa Spolka Akcyjna v, Krell v Henry, Taylor v Caldwell, Paradine v Jane, Davis Contractors Ltd v Fare

Chandler v Webster [1904] 1 KB 493 is an English contract law case, concerning frustration. It is one of the many coronation cases, which appeared in the courts after King Edward VII fell ill and his coronation was postponed.

Contents

Facts

Mr Webster agreed to let Mr Chandler a room on Pall Mall to watch the King's coronation on June 26 1902 for £141 15s. It was understood between the parties that the money for the room should be paid before the procession. Mr Chandler had in fact hired the room not for himself, but for a customer. Ultimately the customer did not want the room, since a relative had died. On June 10 Mr Chandler wrote to Mr Webster saying,

“I beg to confirm my purchase of the first-floor room of the Electric Lighting Board at 7, Pall Mall, to view the procession on Thursday, June 26, for the sum of 141l. 15s., which amount is now due. I shall be obliged if you will take the room on sale, and I authorize you to sell separate seats in the room, for which I will erect a stand. If the seats thus sold in the ordinary way of business do not realize the above amount by June 26, I agree to pay you the balance to make up such amount of 141l. 15s.”

Mr Chandler paid £100 on 19 June but then the King fell ill. The question was whether the £100 could be recovered by Mr Chandler, or whether Mr Webster could demand the balance.

High Court

Wright J held that the plaintiff was not entitled to recover the 100l. which he had paid, and that, on the construction of the letter of June 10, it appeared that the balance was not payable until after the procession, and consequently the defendant was not entitled to recover on the counter-claim.

Court of Appeal

Lord Collins MR, Romer LJ and Mathew LJ held that Mr Chandler was not entitled to recover his damages before the procession became impossible.

References

Chandler v Webster Wikipedia


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