Allen v. Bissinger & Co.

62 Utah 226, 219 P. 539 (1923)



The law imputes to a person an intention corresponding to the reasonable meaning of its words and acts. If his words or acts, judged by a reasonable standard, manifest an intention to agree to the matter in question, that agreement is established. It is immaterial what may be the real but unexpressed state of his mind upon the subject. 


The official reporter for the Interstate Commerce Commission offered to provide to merchants the official reports of commission hearings. The merchant accepted the offer, expressing a specific interest in changes in the freight handling. The reporter acknowledged the merchant's order and thereafter provided a report following commission hearings. Because the reports were not what the merchant had anticipated, it cancelled its order. The report accepted the cancellation but submitted a bill for the reports previously provided in the amount of $ 1,047.50, reflecting a charge of 12 1/2 cents per page. The merchant contested what it believed to be an excessive charge, and the reporter filed suit. Judgment was rendered in favor of the reporter. The case was appealed to the Supreme Court of Utah.


Was the contract valid?




The court held that the substance of the reports was sufficiently clear in the reporter's offer, and the merchant accepted the offer without qualification. As such, mutual assent was established, and a valid contract existed. The merchant's complaint that the reports were of no value to it did not amount to an allegation that it did not contract for the particular reports furnished.

Click here to view the full text case and earn your Daily Research Points.