In Adams v Lindsell (1818), the defendant wrote to the plaintiff offering to sell wool. The defendant misdirected the letter and there was a delay in the letter reaching the plaintiff. The defendant thinking that the plaintiff was no longer interested sold the wool to someone else. The plaintiff sued for a breach of contact.
The plaintiff was successful. In instances of posting the acceptance, the acceptance is deemed to have taken place as soon as the letter is posted. This rule is known as the postal rule and it is an exception to the requirement that, acceptance must be communicated to the offeror, though it might place the offeror at a disadvantage.
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