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Pym v. Campbell

Queen’s Bench
6 Ellis & Blackburn 370 (1856)


Campbell (defendant) agreed to purchase a portion of the benefits that were to accrue from John Pym’s (plaintiff) invention. The two agreed on the terms in writing and both signed the document. Campbell set up a meeting with two engineers to get the engineers’ approval of the invention. One of the engineers did not approve of the invention. Following the engineer’s disapproval, Campbell refused to pay Pym. Pym sued for breach of the agreement. At trial, Campbell was allowed to produce evidence that the agreement was conditioned on the engineer’s approval of the invention. The judge found for Campbell. Pym obtained a rule nisi for a new trial.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Campbell, C.J.)

Concurrence (Erle, J.)

Concurrence (Crompton, J.)

Dissent (Serjt, J. and Hodgson, J.)

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