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Foss v. Circuit City Stores, Inc.

    Brief Fact Summary.

    Circuit City Stores, Incorporated (Circuit City) sought to force arbitration after Andrew Foss, a minor, filed a harassment and retaliation suit against the company. 

    Synopsis of Rule of Law.

    A contract made by a minor is unenforceable unless the contract is put in writing after the minor turns 18 years old. 

    Facts.

    Andrew Foss (Foss) agreed to work at Circuit City Stores, Inc. (Circuit City) when he was 17 years old. Foss signed an arbitration agreement with Circuit City that allowed him to settle any claims that arise out of his employment with Circuit City. After Foss turned 18, he was transferred to another Circuit City store where he had difficulties with the manager. Foss was terminated from employment at Circuit City and sued the company for harassment and retaliation. Circuit City sought to force arbitration per the arbitration agreement.

    Issue.

    Whether a contract made by a minor is enforceable?

    Held.

    No. The motion to compel is denied because Foss was a minor when he agreed to the arbitration agreement. Foss’ admitted that he entered his mother’s name on the arbitration agreement and misrepresentation does not bind Foss to the contract. 

    Discussion.

    The infancy doctrine prevents minors from entering into contracts due to immaturity. In Maine, a contract that is entered into by a minor must be in writing and the minor must intend to be bound by the contract. 


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