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Magee v Pennine Insurance Co Ltd. [1969] 2 All ER 891


Enter car insurance agreement. P did not write the terms but did sign them. P never had license. Bought car for son. Son got in accident. Insurance company said they would pay X amount, then later found out P did not have license. There are 2 diff Ks. One at issue is the 2nd to pay money


Is the agreement vitiated by mistake?


A common mistake, even on a most fundamental matter, does not make a K void at common law: but it does make it voidable in equity (gives court power to set aside)
**Voidable by the court – court retains power to set it aside or not if they think it would not be fair to do so


Applying Solle principle – when D and P made agreement to pay for car they were under a common mistake which was fundamental to the whole K


P had no valid insurance claim – and therefore it is not equitable that he should have such a claim for the agreement to pay


Narrowed Bell so much – so it says you basically would always use equity even though you wouldn’t be able to set it aside at common law
**Not much scope left for Bell – but Bell was HL – Solle only CA

Test: (1) Is there a common mistake in assumption? If yes, then liable to be set aside in equity if mistake is sufficiently fundamental. (2) Is this the type of case that ought to be set aside? Look at what is fair and equitable

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