Friday, May 22, 2015
World History Served Up Daily
Parol Evidence Rule: Examples
The parol evidence rule is a common trap for consumers. For example:
- Health club contracts. You enroll in a health club, and the salesperson tells you that the contract can be cancelled. You later decide you would like to cancel, but the written contract provides that it is non-cancellable. The oral promises of the salesperson are generally non-enforceable. However, the salesperson in misleading you into the terms of the contract constitutes a misrepresentation and you may seek to rescind the contract.
- Auto sales agreements. You purchase a used car, and the salesperson tells you it is "good as new". But the contract provides that the sale is as is. Again, in most circumstances the written contract controls. However, this may constitute misrepresentation if it exceeds reasonably accepted "puffing" or "dealers' talk".
- Timeshares. While in certain jurisdictions, and in certain circumstances, a consumer may have a right of rescission, some people attend real estate sales presentations at which they may feel pressured into immediately signing binding contracts. Evidence that the contract was entered into under duress will not be precluded by the parol evidence rule.
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