Primary Estoppel Explained, With Requirements & Example
Definition of 'Primary Estoppel Explained, With Requirements & Example'
Primary estoppel is often used in contract law to prevent a party from denying the existence or terms of a contract. For example, if a party signs a contract and then later tries to claim that the contract is invalid, the other party can use primary estoppel to prevent them from doing so.
Primary estoppel can also be used in tort law to prevent a party from asserting a defense that is inconsistent with their previous conduct. For example, if a person is injured in an accident and then later tries to claim that the other party was not negligent, the other party can use primary estoppel to prevent them from doing so.
There are three requirements for primary estoppel to apply:
1. The party must have made a clear and unambiguous representation or statement.
2. The other party must have relied on the representation or statement.
3. The other party's reliance must have been reasonable.
If these requirements are met, the party will be estopped from asserting a right or defense that is inconsistent with the representation or statement.
Here is an example of primary estoppel in action:
John and Mary sign a contract for the sale of John's house. The contract states that the sale price is $100,000. Mary pays John $100,000 and takes possession of the house.
A few months later, John tries to claim that the contract is invalid because the sale price was only $50,000. Mary can use primary estoppel to prevent John from doing so.
The court will find that John made a clear and unambiguous representation when he signed the contract. Mary relied on this representation when she paid John $100,000. Mary's reliance was reasonable because the contract was in writing and signed by both parties.
Therefore, the court will find that John is estopped from asserting that the sale price was only $50,000.
Primary estoppel is a powerful doctrine that can prevent a party from asserting a right or defense that is inconsistent with their previous position or representation. It is important to be aware of the requirements for primary estoppel so that you can protect your rights if necessary.
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