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British Crane Hire v Ipswich Plant Hire [1975] QB 303

Both parties were in the business of hiring out plant machinery. The defendants, Ipswich Plant Hire (IPH), were doing some work on some marsh land and needed a dragline crane urgently so contacted the claimant, British Crane Hire (BCH), to hire one. The hire of the crane was dependent upon having the claimant's driver. Unfortunately the crane sank in the marsh land so much that it was out of sight. It was accepted that this was not that fault of either of the parties. However, it cost a great deal of money to get it out. The contract between the parties was concluded over the phone. A copy of the terms and conditions of hire were handed to the defendant on delivery of the crane, although the defendant had not yet read or signed it. The contract specified that the risk of hire remained with the hirer.


The term relating to risk was not incorporated into the contract as the defendant was unaware of it at the time the contract was made, however, the court implied the term into the contract as both parties were in the business of plant hire and it was known to both that the use of such terms was prevalent in the trade.
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