ProfessorMelissa A. Hale
CaseCast™ – "What you need to know"
Brief Fact Summary. This is the case of the not-so-barren cow. Sherwood (Plaintiff) contracted to buy a cow believed to be barren, at a low price from Walker and others (Defendants). Later, the parties realized the cow was with calf. The Plaintiff wanted to enforce the contract while Defendants wanted rescission.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. In a mutual mistake case, it is important that the mistake goes to the essence of the agreement.
Issue. This case ponders the question of whether two parties should be held to an agreement regarding a thing, if the nature of the thing changes entirely.
The court found that the parties’ misapprehension regarding the barren nature of the cow went to the substance of the agreement. As such, the agreement was void; due to its pregnancy, the cow ceased to be the animal that was originally deemed to be.
A barren cow is substantially a different creature than a breeding one.View Full Point of Law