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Contract formation; public vs. private nusiance; negligence

The solution provides the essential elements required for formation of valid contract with some relevant case law included. The difference between the torts of public nuisance and private nuisance is also covered, with some case law provided. Finally, the tort of negligence is discussed with a description of what is meant by a "duty of care." Negligence is one of the most basic, but important topics in all of law and is probably the key to understanding the legal theories underpinning most civil law suits. Students struggling with this topic or taking a first year torts course would benefit from this solution.

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Dear Student:

Essential elements for formation of valid contract:

1) proposal and acceptance (agreement)

2) consideration

3) free consent (capacity or competence of parties to contract)

4) legal purpose (actions agreed upon must be lawful)

The objective theory of contracts requires manifestation of intent to be interpreted reasonably (according to the reasonable expectations of the parties). Courts today define reasonableness within the entire context of a transaction, often taking into account the consideration of subjective elements. For a definition of objective theory of contracts go here:

Some classic contract cases are:

Hawkins v. McGee, 146 A. 641 (N.H. 1929).

Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Company

Leonard v. Pepsico, Inc., 88 F. Supp. 2d 116 (S.D.N.Y. 1999)

Public nuisance and private nuisance:

A public nuisance is an unreasonable interference with a right common to the general public. Circumstances that may sustain a holding that an interference with a public right is unreasonable include the following:

(a) Whether the conduct involves a significant interference with the public health, the public safety, the public peace, the public comfort or the public convenience, or

(b) whether the conduct is proscribed by a statute, ordinance or administrative regulation, or

(c) whether the conduct is of a continuing nature or has produced a permanent or long-lasting effect, and, as the actor knows or has reason to know, has a ...

Solution Summary

The solution provides the essential elements of contract formation, as well as a primer on the difference between public and private nuisance and basic negligence concepts.