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Faber v. Sweet Style Mfg. Corp.

Supreme Court of New York, Nassau County
242 N.Y.S.2d 763 (1963)


Facts

On September 23, 1961, Faber (plaintiff) entered into a contract to purchase a plot of land from Sweet Style Manufacturing Corp. (SSMC) (defendant). Faber had been diagnosed with manic-depressive psychosis, and was in a manic phase from August to October 1961. On October 8, 1961, Faber was hospitalized in a mental institution. Before this time period, Faber was generally frugal and cautious, but between September 23 and October 8, 1961—the time between the contract signing and his hospitalization—Faber hired a title abstract company to perform a search on the plot of land, hired an employee to head the building project, had a sign built on the land stating that Faber Drug Company was coming soon, hired an architect, filed a mortgage application, hired laborers, and filed plans with City officials, among other things. Despite all this activity, closing was not to occur until October 20, 1961. Faber’s pre-trial examination revealed that he understood the contract, but did not explain the reasoning for his sudden change in behavior. His doctor testified that on September 23 he was “incapable of reasoned judgment.” SSMC’s expert psychiatrist testified that Faber’s judgment was intact on September 23. Faber brought suit to have the contract rescinded on account of his incompetence at the time he signed the contract.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Meyer, J.)

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