Contracts Keyed to Fuller
Hancock Bank & Trust Co. v. Shell Oil Co.
Shell Oil Co. (Defendant) entered into a written lease in 1962 for a term of fifteen years. The lease provided an option for Defendant to extend the lease for another fifteen years, and gave Defendant the option of terminating the lease at any time by giving the lessor ninety days’ notice. Hancock Bank & Trust Co. (Plaintiff) later acquired the premises which Defendant was leasing through a public auction after foreclosure proceedings against the original lessor. At this time, Plaintiff sought to void the original lease with Defendant on the ground that its terms were so unfair for Plaintiff as to violate public policy. Plaintiff sued Defendant in Massachusetts state court, and the trial court upheld the lease. Plaintiff appealed.
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