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4.2-2  Consideration of Surrounding Circumstances

Revised to January 1, 2008

To determine the intent of the parties, you may interpret the contract language in light of the situation of the parties and the circumstances surrounding the making of the contract. You also may consider the motives of the parties and the ends that they sought to accomplish by their contract.

However, the circumstances surrounding the making of a contract, the purposes that the parties sought to accomplish and their motives cannot prove an intent contrary to the plain meaning of the language.


United Technologies Corp. v. Groppo, 238 Conn. 761, 772-73 (1996); Zullo v. Smith, 179 Conn. 596, 601 (1980); Fairfield v. D'Addario, 149 Conn. 358, 362 (1962); Colonial Discount Co. v. Avon Motors, Inc., 137 Conn. 196, 200 (1950); Bijur v. Bijur, 79 Conn. App. 752, 758-59 (2003).


Even if the court determines that the parol evidence rule applies, this instruction may be given because parol evidence may be used to determine the meaning of terms to a contract. Ruscito v. F-Dyne Electronics Co., 177 Conn. 149, 160 (1979); Foley v. Hungtington Co., 42 Conn. App. 712, 734, cert. denied, 239 Conn. 931 (1996).


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