contract of adhesion

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adhesion contract (contract of adhesion)

n. a contract (often a signed form) so imbalanced in favor of one party over the other that there is a strong implication it was not freely bargained. Example: a rich landlord dealing with a poor tenant who has no choice and must accept all terms of a lease, no matter how restrictive or burdensome, since the tenant cannot afford to move. An adhesion contract can give the little guy the opportunity to claim in court that the contract with the big shot is invalid. This doctrine should be used and applied more often, but the same big guy-little guy inequity may apply in the ability to afford a trial or find and pay a resourceful lawyer. (See: contract)

References in periodicals archive ?
typical contract of adhesion, such as clickwrap, will meet the criteria
hold a contract of adhesion unenforceable, it must be shown that the
2002) (defining contract of adhesion as a "standardized contract,
Together, these contract ideas can help living constitutionalists explain both why they are terribly anxious about legitimacy in the first instance and why they think fundamental principles of political morality and ethics are always in play when taking to the task of interpreting our constitutional contract of adhesion.
To be sure, clear, conspicuous, and especially visible terms in a contract of adhesion are often enforceable.
The panel rejected Haines's argument that, under the circumstances, the agreement was an unenforceable contract of adhesion, reasoning that if he was unable to understand the agreement, he had a duty to "procure someone to read or explain the release to him before signing it," that there was no evidence that the release was signed under duress, and that Haines understood the risks associated with racing and therefore should have understood the agreement (37)
If a company with great economic power insists on an arbitration clause in a standard form contract that is presented to an individual on a take-it-or-leave-it basis, most states will consider the clause to be a contract of adhesion, and therefore procedurally unconscionable.
When pleading a case against an HMO, attorneys should keep in mind that the HMO contract is a contract of adhesion that deals with life, health, and matters of mental solicitude.