This section is from the book "The Law Of Contracts", by William Herbert Page. Also available from Amazon: Commercial Contracts: A Practical Guide to Deals, Contracts, Agreements and Promises.
Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania R. R. v. Shay, 82 Pa. St. 198; Weller'e Appeal, 103 Pa. St. 594; United States Horseshoe Co. v. American Express Co., 250 Pa. St. 527, 95 Atl. 706.
South Carolina. Sloan v. Courtenay, 54 S. Car. 314, 32 S. E. 431; Wylie v. Bank, 63 S. Car. 406, 41 S. E. 504; Baldwin v. Postal Telegraph-Cable Co., 78 S. Car. 419, 59 S. E. 67.
South Dakota. Reed v. Coughran, 21 S. D. 257, 111 N. W. 559; Haag v. Burns, 22 S. D. 51, 115 N. W. 104.
Texas. Robertson v. Smith, 11 Tex. 211, 60 Am. Dec. 234.
Washington. Pederson v. Ry., 6 Wash. 202, 33 Ac. 351, 34 Ac. 665.
West Virginia. Ferrell v. Ferrell, 53 W. Va. 515, 44 S. E. 187; Pennybacker v. Laidley, 33 W. Va. 624, 11 S. E. 39; Fulton v. Messenger, 61 W. Va. 477, 56. S. E. 830.
ment and merely neglects to read.2 One who signs a contract of sale without reading it, can not, in the absence of fraud or misrepresentation, avoid it on the ground that it provided for the sale of one item of property of which the buyer was ignorant.3 One who signs a written contract which he has an opportunity to read, can not avoid such contract because it provides for a greater quantity than such party had intended to contract for.4 One who accepts a bill of lading and who has an opportunity to read it, is bound by the terms thereof;5 and this is true especially if it is shown that he has had similar bills of lading or shipping receipts for a long time and has been in the habit of making them out.6 One who negligently signs a contract for the sale of land, thinking that it is an option, is bound thereby.7 Where A signs a note containing a power of attorney to confess judgment, A being able to read, and there being no fraud or misrepresentation, he can not have relief from a judgment thereon on the ground that he did not know that it contained a power of attorney.8 Nor can A avoid a release of damages for an injury where he signed it without reading it, thinking it a receipt for money paid him for the time lost by such injury; 9 or knowing it is a receipt for money paid from a relief fund, but not knowing that it provides for a release of the railroad from liability;10 nor can A avoid a contract which he signed without striking out a clause which he intended to strike out, B being ignorant of such intention.11 Where A signed and acknowledged an assignment of an insurance policy, indorsed on such policy, she could not have such assignment set aside on the ground that she had not read it and thought it was a receipt for money.12 If a contract for the sale of goods is unambiguous and free from fraud, the fact that the purchaser did not read it with sufficient care to discover that a large part of the goods sold were sold f. o. b. at a remote city and that only part of the goods were f. o. b. at his place of business, does not render such contract invalid.13 A and B entered into a written contract by which B was to cut timber for A and A was to pay to B ten dollars per one thousand feet therefor. A intended to pay only one dollar per one thousand feet; but B understood he was to receive ten dollars per one thousand feet; and the written contract fixed the rate of com-pensation at ten dollars per one thousand feet. B performed the contract at a cost to himself of nearly the entire contract price. After such performance, B can recover the contract price from A.14 A misrepresentation by X of the contents of a contract executed by X and A in favor of B, whereby A signs it in ignorance of its contents, does not prevent B from enforcing the contract.15
Wisconsin. Albrecht v. Milwaukee Co., 87 Wis. 105, 41 Am. St. Rep. 30, 58 N. W. 72; Bostwick v. Ins. Co., 116 Wis. 392, 92 N. W. 246 [modifying on rehearing 116 Wis. 392, 89 N. W. 538].
"When a. man executes a contract, the bare fact that he did not read it or know its contents will not relieve him from it. If it would, written contracts would be on a very insecure footing": Quimby v. Shearer, 56 Minn. 534, 539, 58 N. W. 155.
"The mistake of one party to a contract will not entitle him to relief, unless the other party induced him to act under such mistake": Benn v. Pritchett, 163 Mo. 560, 57.1, 68 S. W. 1103.
"Courts have gone far enough in relieving men from their obligations upon the plea of ignorance": Weller's Appeal, 103 Pa. St. 594, 599.
2 United States. Simpson v. Pennsylvania R. Co., 159 Fed. 423, 86 C. C. A. 403; Ellicott Machine Co. v. United States, 43 Ct. CI. 469.
Alabama. Main v. Radney (Ala.), 39 So. 981; Rose v. Lewis, 157 Ala. 521, 48 So. 105; Prestwood v. Carlton, 162 Ala. 327, 50 So. 254.
Arkansas. Pratt v. Metzger, 78 Ark. 177, 95 S. W. 451; Mitchell Mfg. Co. v. Kempner, 84 Ark. 349, 105 S. W. 880.
Georgia. Harrison v. Wilson Lumber Co., 119 Ga. 6, 45 S. E. 730; Truitt-Silvey Hat Co. v. Callaway, 130 Ga. 637, 61 S. E. 481.
Illinois. Hartley v. Chicago & A. R. Co., 214 111. 78, 73 N. E. 398.
Indiana. Stewart v. Ry., 141 Ind. 55, 40 N. E. 67.
Iowa. Chicago Cottage Organ Co. v. Caldwell, 94 la. 584, 63 N. W. 336; Palo Alto Stock Farm v. Brooker, 131 la. 229, 108 N. W. 307; Mower Hardwood Creamery & Dairy Supply Co., v. Hill, 135 la. 600, 113 N. W. 466;. Blossi v. C. & N. W. Ry. Co., 144 la. 697, 123 N. W. 360.
Kentucky. J. I. Case Threshing Machine Co. v. Mattingly, 142 Ky. 581, 134 S. W. 1131; McGregor v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co., 143 Ky. 488, 136 S. W. 889.
Louisiana. Murphy v. Hussey, 117 La. 390, 41 So. 692.
Maine. Eldridge v. Ry., 88 Me. 191, 33 Atl. 974.
Massachusetts. McNamara v. Boston Elevated Ry. Co., 197 Mass. 383, 83 N. E. 878.
Missouri. Crim v. Crim, 102 Mo. 544, 54 L. R. A. 502, 63 S. W. 489.
South Carolina. Cape Fear Lumber Co. v. Matheson, 69 S. Car. 87, 48 S. E. 111.
South Dakota. Reed v. Coughran, 21 S. D. 257, 111 N. W. 559; Bower v. Jones, 26 S. D. 414, 128 N. W. 470.
Utah. Larsen v. Oregon Short Line R. Co., 38 Utah 130. 110 Ac. 983.
West Virginia. Rutherford v. Rutherford, 55 W. Va. 56, 47 S. E.240; Hale v. Hale, 62 W. Va. 609, 14 L. R. A. (N.S.) 221, 59 S. E. 1056; Acme Food Co. v. Older, 64 W. Va. 255, 61 S. E. 235.
Wisconsin. Ross v. Northrup, 156 Wis. 327. 144 N. W. 1124.
3 Rose v. Lewis, 157 Ala. 521, 48 So. 105.
4 Bevins v. CoateS (Ky.), 96 S. W. 585.
5 Adams Express Co. v. Croninger, 226 ' U. S. 491, 57 L. ed. 314, 44 L, R. A. (N.S.) 257.
6 Greenwald v. Barrett, 109 X. Y. 170, 35 L. R. A. (N.S.) 971, 92 N. E. 218.
7 Lenman v. Jones, 222 U. S. 51, 56 L. ed. 89.
8 Crim v. Crim, 102 Mo. 544, 54 L. R. A. 502, 63 S. W. 489.
9 Jossey v. Ry., 109 Ga. 439, 34 S. E. 664; Aderholt v. Seaboard Air Line Ry., 152 N. Car. 411, 67 S. E. 978.
10 Fivey v. R. R., 67 N. J. L. 627, 91 Am. St. Rep. 445, 52 Atl. 472.
11 Crane v. McCormick, 92 Cal. 176, 28 Ac. 222.
12 Miller v. Powers, 119 Ind. 79, 4 L. R. A. 483, 21 N. E. 455.
13 Pittsburg Steel Co. v. Wood, 108 Ark. 537, 160 S. W. 519.