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.
Inadequacy of consideration, when taken in connection with weakness of mind on the part of the person who receives the inadequate consideration, and misleading statements by the adversary party, or omission to make full disclosure when he should do so, may establish the fact of undue influence and avoid the transaction.1 If the weakness of mind is due to the contrivance of the adversary party, as by causing the party taken advantage of to become intoxicated, the propriety of relief is even clearer, though the doctrine of fraud rather than undue influence is likely to be invoked.2 Representations which do not amount to technical fraud may in connection with the facts discussed in this section, constitute a ground for relief, though fraud, rather than undue influence, will usually be assigned as a reason for granting relief. Thus under such circumstances, false statements as to value,3 or a pretended partnership arrangement entered into to defraud the grantor, who is thus induced to convey his interest in valuable mining property while intoxicated, for an inadequate consideration,4 may be regarded as fraud. So a sale of property worth a thousand dollars for five dollars, made by an aged and ignorant negro who did not know what his rights were, to a vendee whose agent told him that the property was "worth some money if the right parties could be found," was set aside.5 Specific performance will not be given to one who has been guilty of unfair conduct or who has taken an inequitable advantage of the party against whom such relief is sought, even though the facts are not such as would justify rescission.6 Specific performance will be refused where the vendor is an elderly, ignorant and inexperienced woman, and the vendor induces her to enter into a contract for the sale of land without consulting with her regular business advisers and without disclosing to her facts which the vendee knew would increase the market price of the property.7
8 Ryan v. Price, 106 Ala. 584, 17 So. 734.
9 Ryan v. Price, 106 Ala. 584, 17 So. 734.
10Britton v. Esson, 260 111. 273, 103 N. E. 218.
11 Herzog v. Gipson, 170 Ky. 325, 185 S. W. 1119.
1 Hardy v. Dyas, 203 111. 211, 67 N. E. 852; Killen's Estate, 223 Pa. St.
201, 72 Atl. 521; Mann v. Russey, 101 Tenn. 596, 49 S. W. 835; Stephens v. Ozbourne, 107 Tenn. 572, 89 Am. St. Rep. 957, 64 S. W. 902.
2Maloy v. Berkin, 11 Mont. 138, 27 Pac. 442; Baird v. Howard, 51 O. S. 57, 46 Am. St. Rep. 550, 22 L. R. A. 846, 36 N. E. 732; Copeland v. Long (Tenn. Ch. App.), 41 S. W. 866; Knott v. Tidyman, 86 Wis. 164, 56 N. W. 632.