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.
Misrepresentation implies that the party to whom the misrepresentation is made believes such misrepresentation and acts thereon.1 If a misrepresentation is made concerning an essential feature of the contract, the negligence of the party to whom such representation is made, whereby he is misled by it, does not prevent him from obtaining relief.2 If the party seeking rescission has been careless in omitting to investigate the truth of the statements made to him, rescission may be had at his costs.3 If the
5 The court said: "The defendant does not state that plaintiffs used any artifice to prevent him from reading the contract, nor does he state that he was unacquainted with the English language or that he could not read. . In fact no excuse whatever is given, except that he signed the contract relying on the representation of plaintiff as to its contents. This is inexcusable neglect and the defendant must suffer the consequences of his own folly. The effect of such a rule as that claimed by appellant would be to render written contracts of but little practical value over those existing in parol only": McCormack v. Molburg, 43 la. 561, 562 [quoted in Reid v. Bradley,party to whom such misrepresentation is made believes it, the fact that he has the means of learning that such statement is false, is immaterial.4 Thus where A sold B a worthless bond, representing it to be of a kind that B knew was good, B may avoid the sale though he had a chance to inspect the bond.5 If a purchaser of land buys it in reliance upon the innocent misrepresentation of the seller to the effect that there were at least two million feet of lumber thereon, A may avoid such contract although he has an opportunity to verify such statement and he omits to do so.6 If the engineer of a municipal corporation makes an innocent misrepresentation of the quantity of work to be done, a contractor who enters into a contract for doing such work in reliance upon the estimate may avoid such contract, although he had an opportunity for an independent investigation which would have disclosed the true quantity of work to be done.7 A vendee is not bound to make an independent investigation after the vendor has pointed out to him the boundaries of the tract.8 A correct written description of the land does not avoid the effect of a specific misrepresentation as to its boundaries if the vendee could not locate the land from such description without the aid of a surveyor.9
105 la. 220, 74 N. W. 896; so Glenn v. Statler, 42 la. 107].
6 Puffer Mfg. Co. v. Krum, 210 Mass. 211, 96 N. E. 139.
7 Walton Guano Co. v. Copelan, 112 Ga. 319, 52 L. R. A. 268, 37 S. E. 411.
8 Callaway v. Mellett, 15 Ind. App. 366, 57 Am. St. Rep. 238, 44 N. E. 198.
9 Callaway, v. Mellett, 15 Ind. App. 366, 57 Am. St. Rep. 238, 44 N. E. 198.
1 See Sec. 218.
2 Ripley v. Case, 86 Mich. 261, 49 N. W. 46; Beland v. Brewing Association, 157 Mo. 593, 58 S. W. 1; Houser v. McGinnas, 108 N. Car. 631, 13 S. E. 139; Steere v. Oakley, 186 Pa. St. 582, 40 Atl. 815.
3 Sutton v. Morgan, 158 Pa. St. 204, 38 Am. St. Rep. 841, 27 Atl. 894.