plaintiff (P) was injured after sitting on a deckchair hired from D, P took deckchair from pile & paid attendant who gave him a ticket
ticket contained clause attempting to exempt council from liability for damage arising from deckchair hire
was ticket contractual in nature?
ticket not contractual, a reasonable person would think it was simply a receipt or voucher so exemption clause not incorporated
Grogan v Robin Meredith Plant Hire  CLC 1127
Auld LJ: timesheet (administrative document), a record of the performance of an existing contractual obligation, reasonable person not expect contain contractual conditions, cirumstances surrounding document's use & parties' understanding of purpose should be considered
Incorporation by signature
exemption clause may be incorporated by signature, only innocent party signature required
P buying in instalments for cigarette machine from D
P signed Sales Agreement but did not read it:.. I agree to purchase from you on the terms stated below...
machine broke, P refused to pay & brought action for money paid, D argued exempted from liability
was exemption clause incorporated?
on appeal, iexemption clause was incorporated because P signed document
Scrutton LJ: .. When a document containing contractual terms is signed, then, in the absence of fraud, or, I will add, misrepresentation, the party signing it is bound, and it is wholly immaterial whether he has read the document or not...
innocent party not bound by signature if was misrepresentation about exemption clause, document not contractual in nature or exemption clause not legible
Curtis v Chemical Cleaning & Dyeing Co.  1 KB 805
P took dress to D (dry cleaners) to be cleaned
D asked P to sign a Receipt, D informed P signature was required because the shop would not accept liability for specific risks (damage to beads & sequins on dress), P signed
receipt contained exemption clause: .. the company is not liable for any damage howsoever arising...
dress stained during dry cleaning, P claimed D negligent & sued for damages, D sought to rely on exemption clause
was exemption clause incorporated?
exemption clause not incorporated due to misrepresentation
Denning LJ: .. his signature is irrefragable evidence of his assent to the whole contract, including the exempting clauses, unless the signature is shown to be obtained by fraud or misrepresentation...
Incorporation by notice
where no signature, for exemption clause to be incorporated innocent party must have known existed or party relying on it must have taken reasonable steps to bring it to other's notice before contract finalised
Denning LJ: ..The more unreasonable a clause is, the greater the notice which must be given of it. Some clauses would need to be printed in red ink with a red hand pointing to it before the notice could be held to be sufficient..
on entering car park P put money in a machine & given a ticket, which stated contract of parking subject to terms & conditions displayed on signs inside car park: including one which excluded liability for personal injuries arising through negligence
was the exemption clause incorporated?
clause not incorporated as D not given sufficient notice, clause onerous as attempted to exclude liability for damage to vehicle & also personal injury (unusual for car park)
Lord Megaw: .. a sort of restriction that is not shown to be usual in that class of contract, a defendant must show that his intention to attach an unusual condition of that particular nature was fairly brought to the notice of the other party. How much is required as being... 'reasonably sufficient to give the plaintiff notice of the condition', depends upon the nature of the restrictive condition...
reasonable steps criteria applies to all terms, not only exemption clauses
majority of Court of Appeal found insufficient steps taken to draw attention to an onerous clause
Hobhouse LJ (dissenting): criticised requiring greater steps to incorporate onerous clauses as creates uncertainty, unreasonable clauses should be dealt with under Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977, test for incorporating terms should be same regardless nature of clause
general rule: party seeking to rely on exemption clause must take reasonable steps to draw it to other's attention before contract is finalised
notice outside car park exempted liability for damage to cars, on entering car park P put money in a machine & given a ticket, which stated contract of parking subject to terms & conditions displayed on signs inside car park: including one which excluded liability for personal injuries arising through negligence
Was the exemption clause inside the car park incorporated?
clause not incorporated as D not given sufficient notice before agreeing to contract
Sir Gordon Willmer argued: a distinction between tickets sold by person & obtained from machine, which was automatic & irrevocable
Previous consistent course of dealing
if reasonable steps taken before contract formed previous dealings between parties irrelevant
however, if previous consistent course of dealing between parties an exemption clause may be incorporated, even if reasonable steps taken after contract finalised