Bradbury v Morgan – 1862

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Bradbury v Morgan [1862] 158 ER 877

Contract law – Sale of goods – Death of guarantor

Facts

Leigh requested that Bradbury provide credit to his brother to the value of £100. Leigh guaranteed the account owned by his brother to this effect. Accordingly, Bradbury credited Leigh’s brother’s account and continued selling goods to Leigh in their usual manner. Unfortunately, Leigh died and Bradbury continued to supply his brother with goods on the credit which had been previously agreed. Bradbury had no knowledge or notice of the death of Leigh. Morgan, who was an executor on behalf of Leigh, did not pay Bradbury for the goods and refused to do so on the basis that the debts were contracted after Leigh’s death and as a result, Leigh was not liable for the payment. Bradbury brought an action for the payment that was due for the goods.

Issue

In this case, the court had to decide whether the agreement between the parties was a contract or simply a request which could be concluded upon the death of Leigh. If it was deemed that this was a contract, then the court would have to understand whether Morgan, as an executor of Leigh, was still liable to pay for the goods that were being received.

Held

The court found in favour of Bradbury. The court held that if the situation was dealing with an implied contract which had arisen out of a request, then it would be stopped by the death of a party. However, in this circumstance, there was no notice provided of the death of Leigh, and therefore there was no attempt to end the contract.

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