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Woman goes to court over missed plane

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A New Zealand woman has taken her long-term boyfriend to court, claiming he breached a “verbal contract” by failing to take her to the airport, which caused her to miss a flight to a concert and delayed her travel by one day.

The woman told the court that she and her boyfriend had been together for six and a half years before the disagreement occurred. According to an order from the court, the woman had arranged to attend a concert with friends and her boyfriend had agreed to drive her to the airport and look after her two dogs while she was away.

The day before her flight, she messaged him that she needed to be picked up between 10:00 and 10:15 am, but he never arrived. As a result, she missed her flight and incurred several costs, including travel expenses for the next day, a shuttle to the airport, and kennel fees for her dogs.

The woman also testified that she had previously paid for ferry tickets for a holiday with her boyfriend and argued she should be reimbursed for the cost of his ticket. She claimed they had a “verbal contract” that he would take her to the airport and care for her dogs, as he had done in the past and “enjoyed staying at her house.”

However, the court’s referee Krysia Cowie stated that for an agreement to be enforceable, there must be an intention to create a legally binding relationship. Cowie explained that social arrangements between partners, friends, and colleagues are typically not legally enforceable unless there is clear evidence that the parties intended to be bound by their promises.

Cowie found that the promises exchanged were part of a normal give-and-take in an intimate relationship and did not indicate an intention to create legally binding consequences. “Although a promise was made, it falls short of being a contract. It forms part of the everyday family and domestic relationship agreements that are not enforceable in court,” she wrote.

The boyfriend did not attend the court hearing and did not respond to a follow-up call from the referee. The woman’s claim was dismissed.

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