Exclusion clauses
Exclusion clauses

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Exclusion clauses

2.2.3 Unusual terms

If an exclusion clause is unusually wide, it requires an unusually explicit warning. This is demonstrated by Thornton v Shoe Lane Parking Ltd [1971] 2 QB 163, where a clause purported to exempt the owner of a car park from all liability for personal injury, however caused. Lord Denning stated (at p. 170):

All I say is that it is so wide and so destructive of rights that the court should not hold any man bound by it unless it is drawn to his attention in the most explicit way … In order to give sufficient notice, it would need to be printed in red ink with a red hand pointing to it – or something equally startling.

This case also, once again, illustrates the importance of timing as the terms and conditions were displayed inside the car park itself and, therefore, the plaintiff would only have been able to read them after he had entered into the contract to use it.

The case of Interfoto Picture Library Ltd v Stiletto Visual Programmes Ltd [1989] QB 433 indicates that the Thornton approach to unusual terms applies to contract terms in general, not just exclusion clauses.

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Figure 6 A red hand

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