De Francesco v Barnum (1890) is an English contract law case that dealt with the issue of misrepresentation in contracts.
In this case, De Francesco was a performer who had been contracted to perform in Barnum’s circus. Barnum had made representations to De Francesco that he was an agent for the circus and had the authority to enter into a contract with De Francesco on behalf of the circus. Based on these representations, De Francesco entered into a contract with Barnum to perform in the circus.
However, it later transpired that Barnum was not an agent for the circus and did not have the authority to enter into a contract with De Francesco on behalf of the circus. De Francesco sued Barnum for breach of contract and misrepresentation.
The court held that Barnum had made a false representation to De Francesco and that this had induced him to enter into the contract. The court also held that De Francesco was entitled to damages for the loss that he had suffered as a result of Barnum’s misrepresentation.
The case of De Francesco v Barnum is an important case in English contract law as it established the principle that a party who makes a false representation in order to induce another party to enter into a contract may be liable for damages for the loss suffered by the other party as a result of the misrepresentation. The case also confirmed that misrepresentation can be a ground for rescinding a contract and that the innocent party may be entitled to damages for any loss suffered as a result of the misrepresentation.