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Thornton v Shoe Lane Parking Ltd, [1971] 2 QB 163

Facts:

Automatic car park. On door said all cars parked at own risk. P got ticket from machine. Ticket said on back subject to conditions displayed on premises. P saw writing but did not read. Signs posted on random pillars. Accident and D says not liable

Issue(s):

Is P subject to the exemption clause?

Ratio:

A clause cannot be incorporated after the contract is concluded – once an offer is accepted new conditions cannot be added to the contract.

If they don’t do what is reasonable to make P aware of the conditions (bring it to their attention), then the conditions don’t form part of the contract.

Analysis:

If the conditions are brought to your attention after you have accepted the offer then they do not form part of the contract.

The greater the limited liability the great the effort must be taken to bring it to your attention – higher standard of reasonableness.
**If you are to limit liability for much more then people would expect then you must do a lot to bring it to their attention
**Proportional notice

Here the offer was the condition ‘at owners risk’ and acceptance was when he drove up and a ticket was given to him.
**The conditions on the ticket are not part of the contract because the contract was already entered in to

Holding:

Exemption clause did not form part of the contract – P wins – Ds cant escape liability

Comments:

2 ways to deal with this case:
**The conditions came after offer accepted.
**Did they do what was reasonable to bring to attention – then offer and acceptance doesn’t matter.


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