Attwood v Small (1838) 6 Cl & F 232

Key point

A misrepresentation is not actionable where its accuracy is independently verified by the representee, even if the verification did not discover the misrepresentation.

Facts

  • D sold mines and steelworks to C.
  • Prior to the sale, D made representations about the capabilities of the property and C agreed to purchase subject to verifying those statements.
  • C’s agents verified that they were true, but they were later revealed to be false.
  • C sought rescission of the contract.

Held (House of Lords)

Rescission was denied.

Judgment

The reasoning was not clear. The common interpretation is that there was no reliance on the misrepresentations because the C relied on its agents to verify D’s representations.

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