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Esso Petroleum v Mardon [1976] QB 801 Court of Appeal


Mr Mardon entered a tenancy agreement with Esso Petroleum in respect of a new Petrol station. Esso's experts had estimated that the petrol station would sell 200,000 gallons of petrol. This estimate was based on figures which were prepared prior to planning application. The planning permission changed the prominence of the petrol station which would have an adverse affect on the sales rate. Esso made no amendments to the estimate. The rent under the tenancy was also based on the erroneous estimate. Consequently it became impossible for Mr Mardon to run the petrol station profitably. In fact, despite his best endeavours the petrol station only sold 78,000 gallons in the first year and made a loss of £5,800.

The Court of Appeal held that there was no action for misrepresentation as the statement was an estimate of future sales rather than a statement of fact. However, the claimant was entitled to damages based on either negligent misstatement at common law or breach of warranty of a collateral contract.
 
Back to lecture outline on misrepresentation in Contract Law