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Thompson v. Libby

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    Bloomberg Law

    Citation.2010 U.S. App.

    Brief Fact Summary. Defendant Libby entered into a written contract to purchase logs from Plaintiff Thompson. Defendant claims that Plaintiff breached an oral warranty as to the quality of the logs.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law. The parol evidence rule prevents extrinsic evidence from being used to contradict or vary the terms of a written contract that is intended as the full expression of the parties’ agreement.


    Facts. Plaintiff entered into a contract with Defendant to sell Defendant logs. The parties put the contract in writing. Defendant alleges that Plaintiff made an oral warranty as to the quality of the logs.

    Issue. Is the evidence of the oral warranty barred by the parol evidence rule?

    Held. Yes. Evidence of the warranty is inadmissible under the parol evidence rule.
    The parol evidence rule prevents the use of extrinsic evidence to speak where the writing is silent or vary where the writing speaks. The parol evidence rule applies when the written document is a complete integration. A complete integration is a written document intended to be the full expression of the agreement between the parties.
    The Court determined that the written contract for the sale of the logs was a complete integration. Because the oral warranty would add or vary terms in the written contract, evidence of the warranty is inadmissible under the parol evidence rule.

    Discussion. In the present case, the Court found that the evidence of a warranty was inadmissible under the parol evidence rule because it added or varied the terms of the parties written contract.

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