Failure to Understand or Read a Contract Is Not a Legal Defense


Mass courts have repeatedly ruled that failure to read or understand a contract is not grounds for invalidating the agreement.

According to the Supreme Judicial Court,

One who signs a written agreement is bound by its terms whether one reads and understands it or not or whether one can read or not.Β  Cohen v. Santoianni, 330 Mass. 187, 193 (1953).

This standard applies even when one of the contracting parties does not speak English.Β  See Paulink v. American Express Co., 265 Mass. 182, 185 (1928).

If you have any questions about contract law, please contact me at

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