Online bookie can't scoop £50k losses made by 5-year-old. High Court rules the website contract terms were unfairhttp://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/05/31/high_court_rules_against_bookmaker_in_online_betting_losses_case/
A man who blamed his girlfriend's five-year-old son for making loss-making trades in expensive natural resources through his online betting account is not bound by a term he agreed to on the bookmaker's website, the High Court has ruled. The term stated that an accountholder is deemed to have authorised all trading made under his or her account number.
Spreadex based its claim on a clause in its contract which meant Cochrane would be "deemed to have authorised all trading under [his] account number," a report by legal information service Lawtel said.
However, in rejecting Spreadex's bid for a summary judgment, the High Court said that the clause was not legally binding because it didn't form part of a binding contract and was "unfair". Spreadex was not able to show that Cochrane entered into a separate contract for each trade made via his account and as such the company's general contract applied.
This is an odd case," gambling law expert Susan Biddle of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com, said.
"It is hard to see how companies can incorporate general terms into future contracts with consumers – unless this case can be distinguished on the basis that the problem here arose because of the total exclusion of Spreadex’s liability in contrast to the consumer’s unlimited liability. If Spreadex had accepted some liability and/or capped the consumer’s liability the contract may have been deemed binding," she said.
"I would not advise businesses to purse summary judgment applications where contract terms are disputed as unfair and the reasonableness of them is at issue, especially when it involves a consumer," Biddle added.
I know Bitcoinica screwed up in lots of different ways but at least this never happened.