adhesion contract

  

Definition

Boilerplate contract, prepared entirely by the party with preponderant bargaining power, and offered to the weaker party on (in effect) a 'take it or leave it' basis. Most insurance policies and small business loans, and some contracts of employment (although legal), are contracts of adhesion because they provide little or no opportunity to negotiate the terms. If the disadvantaged party finds some provisions unacceptable, it cannot suggest changes and must do without the loan or service. In case of a dispute, courts scrutinize such contracts to ensure their terms are not oppressive or unconscionable, and frequently refuse to enforce the contract.
The name comes from the reality that the stronger party draws up the contract and the weaker party simply 'adheres' to the terms. Also called contract of adhesion.



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