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Valparaiso Univ. Law School

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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Sherwood v. Walker Redux – With Viagra!

We’re all familiar with the classic, one could even say seminal, case on mistake, Sherwood v. Walker, 33 N.W. 919 (1887).  There, the parties contracted for the purchase and sale of Rose the Second of Aberlone, a supposedly barren cow.  After the contract was inked, Rose was discovered with calf.  Turns out Rose was worth almost ten times as much as a breeder than she would have been as steak.  The Michigan Supreme Court allowed the defendant-sellers to rescind.

Today I read this news story, which raises some of the same issues, but with horses.  Here, it was the stallion’s reproductive capacity that was at issue:

“A German court ordered Viagra to be given to a stallion after his new owner claimed he was impotent and refused to pay the full asking price.

The buyer of the horse named Vedor paid just a tenth of the price of over $4,900, claiming it had only one testicle and failed to get frisky with a female pony.

A vet found the testicle after an examination, said Egbert Simons, a spokesman for the court in the eastern town of Neuruppin.

And when the stallion was given the potency drug, it emerged he was fully functional, he added.

The court ordered the buyer to pay the full price.”

No more bad puns (they are simply too easy with this story).  But definitely a creative solution to a contractual dispute.

[Miriam Cherry / Hat-tip: Shirley Wang]

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/contractsprof_blog/2006/03/sherwood_v_walk.html

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