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Tobias v. Dick & T. Eaton. Co., [1937] 4 D.L.R. 546 (Man. K.B.)


P used trickery to get D to sign contract. Since then D has accepted and acted on it. P had exclusive right to sell Ds machine. P wasn’t required to buy machines from D


There must be something given in exchange for a promise – that is the mutuality.
Something of value must flow from promisee to promisor (really both must provide something of value).


If they had said I will order at least 3 a year there would have been some consideration. The indirect promise by Dick to sell to T is not supported by any consideration, moving from T, and so is not binding on D.


There was no contract between the 2 parties, and thus no breach occurred when D decided to sell to someone else.


  1. CGBSpender 2

    I don’t think it ultimately plays any role that P used trickery to get D to sign the contract.
    Also, you may consider linking to Wood v. Lucy, Lady Duff-Gordon where Court finds that such promises (e.g. making an effort to sell) as are necessary to find consideration can be read into a contract where it is necessary for the business efficacy of the contract to do so.

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