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Law of Purchasing and Supply

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Question 1

  • Subject to sale of goods Act, there is no disguised condition as to the quality of any particular purpose of goods supplied. The rule of Caveat Emptor which in simple terms means ‘buyers beware’ is greatly applied in sale of goods contracts. However, when the sale in question is made by description, the rule is departed in favor of the rule for goods sold by description. The latter rule states that goods sold by description should meet the description thereof or else, the buyer has the right to repudiate the contract.  In this case, the car sold did not correspond to the description and the plaintiff (buyer) could therefore maintain an action against the defendant (seller).

Case Law

Grant v Australian knitting Mills Ltd (1936). The plaintiff went to the defendant’s shop and asked for a pair of long wooden underwear. The goods were displayed on the counter before him and a sales assistant selected a pair which he bought. The underwear contained an excess of sulphite and the plaintiff contracted dermatitis after wearing it. Held: the chemical should have been removed before the underwear was sold.  The defendant was therefore liable.

  •  Sue’s Luxury Cars (SLC) will be held liable for the negligent advice that Tina gave to Richard as implied in the warranty of disclosing the dangerous nature of the goods to the ignorant buyer. Tina breached s13. As in the case, Oscar Chess v Williams, the descriptive statement which is part of s13 is incorporated into the contract.  In case they knew that the car was not defective, and its sign was not the actual one and that Richard is ignorant of the condition of the car, thus; they are held liable for not warning Richard of the probable danger.

Question 2

  • One of the essentials of a valid contract is the existence of offer and acceptance. In this case, MHL offered cottage. This was a conditional offer as some conditions had to be fulfilled for the contract to become binding. Paul and Richard indeed complied with the conditions and the contract therefore became binding. It is imperative to know that though an offer made through post becomes effective when the letter is received by the offeree, acceptance by post becomes effective from the time the acceptance letter is posted and not when the letter is actually received by the offeror. In the case at hand therefore, Paul and Richard, having posted the acceptance letter before the offer could lapse, had bound MHL. They can therefore maintain a legal action against MHL  for letting the room in question. The fact that MHL had not received the letter of acceptance and the money is no defense in law.

Case Law

The case in Byrnev. Van  Tien Hoven: it was held that the acceptance was effective when the plaintiffs posted their letter on October 11th in New York although the defendants in Cardiff were not aware of the posting.

  • Upon suing for damage, Paul and Richard are entitled to recover a reasonable amount for the expenses incurred. They are also entitled to the down payment they had made.

Question 3

  • Petrolheads would be held liable for the damages caused to Sue. In this scenario, the rule of vicarious liability is applicable. The rule states that an employer is liable for the torts committed by his servant provided they are working in the course of their employment. The employee who caused injury to Sue was acting in the course of his employment and this makes his employer liable thereof.

Case Laws

In Lloyd v Grace Smith &CO 1912 A.C. 716, the plaintiff had sought advice from the defendants, a firm of solicitors whose managing clerk conducted conveyancing work without supervision. He advised the plaintiff to sell some property fraudulently persuading her to sign certain document that transferred the property to him. He disposed of it and kept the proceeds.

Held: even though the fraud had not been committed for the benefit of the employers, nevertheless, they were liable for the clerk had been placed in a position to carry over such work and had acted throughout in the course of his employment.

Furthermore, when they put their notice, they don’t specify to their customers what may cause harm to them while within their premises so that necessary precautions may be laid down. When Trevor, an employee, knock Sue down, he should be held liable for his negligence. He should do what a reasonable persons needs to do while discharging his duty. Petrolheads cannot exclude or restrict liability for negligence even though Sue was aware of the notice. Being aware of the terms in it should not be taken as indicating his voluntary acceptance of any risk.

A person cannot so exclude his liability for negligence except in so far as the notice made satisfies the requirement of reasonableness. In this case, Perolheads cannot protect Trevor for his negligence, hence, he should be held liable for the damages caused. Petrolheads should be held liable for the duty of care for the occupiers of their premises, so Sue is entitled for the damages caused to him by Trevor.

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