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Philadelphia Business Lawyers discuss Contra Proferentem: Ambiguity in Contract Construed Against Drafter

“Contra proferentem” or “against the offeror” is a legal principal used by Courts in Pennsylvania when parties dispute contractual language. A written instrument is ambiguous if it is reasonably or fairly susceptible of more than one construction. When a contract is ambiguous, it is undisputed that the rule of contra proferentem requires the language to be construed against the drafter and in favor of the other party if the latter’s interpretation is reasonable. Com., State Pub. Sch. Bldg. Auth. v. Noble C. Quandel Co., 585 A.2d 1136, 1144 (1991)

In Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, State Public School Building Authority, the Court ruled in favor of Defendant because “a government contract will be construed against the government where, as here, the contractual provision in question is ambiguous and unreasonable, we conclude that the Authority’s interpretation of Paragraph 75 is erroneous and that Quandel must prevail.” Id.

For more information, call Philadelphia contract lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green at 215-574-0600 or contact us online.