Since early stages of contract law developments, promises have been recognized as it is essential and important parts. It is worth mentioning that nowadays different visions of interrelations between promises and contracts coexist in terms of different legal traditions. The way promise is perceived within a legal tradition is dependent on the definition of contract it applies to. The issue under study is whether the promise, made by Jason’s father can serve a basis for him getting an obligation to transfer his car to his son.
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Regulation (legal tradition, laws and cases)
In the U. S. legal tradition contract means a legally enforceable obligation, which one person owes another one in a result of having committed either formal act or concluding an informal agreement that satisfies the contractual validity requirements (Klass, 2010, 27 ) Despite the fact that from this definition it may seem to us that promises can fall within the scope of the notion “ informal agreements”, in the majority of the U. S. jurisdictions courts tend to come to the conclusion that promises do not meet the requirements of either enforceability or contractual validity. Furthermore, according to Klass (2010), courts tend to consider promises along with moral obligations, claiming that it is easier to deny the rule, than to go into the field of morality and denying existence of moral obligations (89). Nonetheless, it is still worth considering each situation from the point of view of pre-existence of prior legal duty, which was rendered inoperative by the law and post-promise relations. Furthermore, in each case it is necessary to understand, whether there are proofs of essential agreement’s provisions’ existence. Among them it is necessary to mention offer, acceptance, competent parties, lawful subject matter, mutuality of obligations and consideration. In the case under study it is unclear whether there are enforceable proofs of the agreement’s meeting the requirements, set above. If such proofs exist, the promise can be considered binding obligation.
Analysis of circumstances, under which promise can be considered binding obligation shows that the promise under study is more likely to be considered in line with moral obligations, not the legal ones as there is the evident lack of proofs of contractual validity of the promise.
Results of the analysis
Tort law duty
In the case under study the owner of the business is aware about the fact that a product his business produces has a fault in it and the ways, which can be employed to improve the situation. The issue under study regards responsibilities Thomas has with regard to this situation.
Regulations (laws and cases studies)
The answer stems from the duty of care, which is one of core principles of the tort law. According to Harpwood (2008), there are three major criteria, which allow identifying existence or non-existence of the duty of care, namely foresight, proximity and consideration of justice and reasonableness, when imposing the duty (27).
The tests above can be used either separately or in combination with one another. Our case can be decided in different dimensions. From the point of view of foresight or so-called “ backward thinking” it is evident that Thomas is aware about the fact that toasters have a fault, and this fault can be potentially eliminated. The notion of proximity is closely related to the one of foresight. The synonym for proximity is foreseebility, which means person’s being able to foresee negative consequences of his/her actions of his/her failure to act.
In our case Thomas can foresee t consequences of him not applying efforts to repairing devices. The last, but not the least to mention is the rule of fairness, justice and reasonableness of the duty being imposed on the person.
In the case of manufacturer’s responsibility it is clear that it is just, fair and reasonable that a person, who provides for manufacturing an item and seeks to gain profit by selling this item, is liable in case the item has faults and/or its usage led to the buyer’s experiencing negative consequences. In this case Thomas is most likely to be accused of breaking the duty of care and, therefore, negligence.
Harpwood, V. H., 2008. Modern tort law. London: Routledge
Klass, G., 2010. Contract law in the USA. Alpen an den Rijn: Kluwer Law International