Equitable Estoppel on Vacation
This paper will examine a number of the legal issues surrounding the case presented by Julian and Anna. From a contractual point of view, there are three main topics which arise in reviewing their agreement with Bliss Island. The first of these topics which will be examined will be that of Equitable Estoppel and why it relates to their case. The second will be Negligent Misrepresentation and why Sandra was guilty of this. The third will be Frustration of Contract, and why there is a strong argument to be made for it in regards to the poor diving conditions. This essay will then briefly address the liability of the hotel for the stolen items. It will conclude with a brief summation.
The principles of equitable estoppel have been clearly outlined in Australian law via the High Court.1 This case exemplifies all the principles of equitable estoppel that the High Court of Australia established in Waltons Stores (Interstate) Ltd v Maher; (1) the presence of a promise or representation of such. (2) Reliance on said promise by the aggrieved party. (3) Legal detriment caused by the promise. (4) Justice requires enforcement of promise. The Australian High Court summarizes the need for equity law to intervene as:
the creation or encouragement by the party estopped in the other party of an assumption that a contract will come into existence or a promise will be performed and that the other party relied on that assumption to his detriment to the knowledge of the first party.2
Julian and Anna based their decision for a vacation destination on two factors which were extremely important to them. The first was a high standard of diving, and the second was fine cuisine and, more specifically, the quality of dessert cakes offered by the resort. Bliss island first created the promise that Julian and Anna would enjoy the diving and fine cakes they desired through the offers in the offered brochure. When Julian explicitly stated to Sandra his excitement over these two particular promises outlined in the brochure, Sandra explicitly encouraged the assumption of good diving, and neglected to inform Julian that the cakes would vary greatly from those which were promised in the brochure, even though she was aware the cooks were different.
Julian and Anna demonstrated their reliance on these two factors in Julians conversation with Sandra, as it was the only two factors he revealed his excitement for. Its obvious that had Bliss Island not offered a high quality of diving and dessert cakes, Julian and Anna would have not chosen this particular resort. The couple relied on the promises outlined in the brochure and Julians conversation with Sandra.
Needless to state, Julian and Anna did not enjoy an acceptable quality of diving or of dessert cakes.