Brief Fact Summary. Plaintiffs Mahlon and Vinetta Bollinger entered into a written contract with the Defendant Central Pennsylvania Quarry Stripping and Construction Company, that permitted Defendant to deposit construction waste on Plaintiffs’ property. Plaintiffs claim that the parties agreed that Defendant would cover the waste with topsoil, but such a provision was, by mistake, not included in the written agreement.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. Equity permits a court to reform a written contract to make it correspond to the understanding of the parties, provided that the mistake is mutual.
Issue. Can the court reform the contract to correct a mutual mistake in the integration of the agreement?
Held. Yes. Equity permits a court to reform a written contract to make it correspond to the understanding of the parties, provided that the mistake is mutual. Here, Plaintiffs satisfied the heavy burden of proving mutual mistake by introducing evidence that the defendant initially complied with the terms omitted. Further, Defendant performed a similar practice with regard to the land of a neighbor of Plaintiffs. Hence, the contract should be reformed and enforced according to the missing terms.
Once a person enters into a written agreement he builds around himself a stone wall, from which he cannot escape by merely asserting he had not understood what he was signing.View Full Point of Law