Sproule v. The “Compass Rose II”

In Purchase and Sale of Ships on (Updated )

This was an action by the Plaintiff to recover the balance of $25,000.00 alleged to be owing on a written contract of purchase and sale of a vessel. The defence was that there had been an oral variation of the written contract whereby the Plaintiff agreed to accept a lesser amount in return for prompt payment. The Plaintiff argued, inter alia, that the parole evidence rule applied to prohibit proof of an oral agreement that contradicted the written contract. The Court, however, held that the parole evidence rule had no application since the Defendant did not seek to adduce extrinsic evidence to add to, subtract from or vary the meaning of the written agreement but merely claimed that the agreement had been amended verbally. The Court found that there had been such an amendment and dismissed the action.