Washington Law Review


Washington follows this general contract rule but the court appears willing to mollify its hardship in some instances by liberally construing the term "fraud". Thus in Stone v. Moody the plaintiffs signed a contract without reading it and the court allowed them a recission on the ground that the contract contained such an "unconscionable" clause that it was plain the plaintiffs would never have agreed to it if they had known of it. Unless it can be said that the defendant—who read the contract to the plaintiffs and omitted to read the clause in question—induced the plaintiffs not to read the contract, the result of the case seems contrary to the proper rule. But under the Washington view this would probably constitute fraud, since facts or circumstances tending to show fraud or mistake have been enumerated in Washington as "inability to read or understand the language of the contract, a relation of trust or confidence between the parties, or some artifice used to obtain the signature of the party or prevent him from reading the contract". This article was submitted as a thesis for a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Washington in 1939.

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