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Herne Bay Steam Boat v Hutton [1903] 2 KB 683

The defendant hired out the claimant's steamship. The purpose of the contract was to take paying passengers to view the Naval Review which was part of King Edward VII's coronation celebrations. The defendants were also offering a day’s cruise for the passengers. The Naval Review was cancelled as the King was ill. The defendant did not use the steamship and the claimant brought an action for the agreed contract price. The defendant argued the contract had become frustrated due to the cancellation of the Naval Review.

Held:

The contract was not frustrated. The contract had not been deprived of its sole commercial purpose as it was still possible to perform the days cruise. The Naval Review was not the only commercial purpose of the contract.

Back to lecture outline on Frustration in Contract Law